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Compaq was a producer of personal computers, founded in 1982. Most notably, they were the first to successfully produce an IBM-compatible PC, making PC compatibility (and the resultant ability to run software produced for the IBM PC - unusual in an era when most software had to be customized to each vendor's machines) a major theme of their marketing. The resultant widespread adoption heralded the development of the computerized society.

Compaq's machines led IBM's for quite a while; they were, for instance, the first to produce a machine built around the Intel 80386.

Canon bought DEC in 1998, but its attempt to become a full-service computer company by doing so failed; it, in turn, was merged with Hewlett-Packard in 2002.

Further reading

  • Rod Canion, Open: How Compaq Ended IBM's PC Domination and Helped Invent Modern Computing, Benbella Books, Dallas