Time line of Dell computer

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Timeline of key events in Dell's history

Source: Dell Computer Corp.

1984 -- Michael Dell begins his computer business at the University of Texas at Austin, often hiding his IBM PCs in his roommate's bathtub when his family would visit. His dorm room business officially becomes Dell Computer Corp. on May 3, 1984.

1985 -- Company introduces the first PC of its own design: The Turbo, featuring Intel 8088 processor running at 8 megahertz.

1986 -- Dell Computer grows to 250 employees, and the company introduces the 286-12 machine, which PC Week says "may become (the) next industry benchmark." Today, the 450 MHz Intel Pentium II processor is more than 100 times faster than the 286-12's processor.

1987 -- The company opens an office in the United Kingdom and begins offering next-day product service. Within the next 10 years, Dell opens offices in 33 countries. The company's incoming call rate reaches almost 1,700 per day.

Today Dell averages about 300,000 contacts each day in the United States alone.

1988 -- In June 1988, Dell goes public with 3.5 million shares at $8.50 each. The company employs 650 people and has record sales of $159 million. Today, Dell employs more than 24,000 people worldwide, and the company's sales have grown to $18.2 billion in the last four quarters.

1990 -- The manufacturing center in Limerick, Ireland, opens to serve European, Middle Eastern and African markets.

1991 -- Company introduces its first notebook PC.

1992 -- Dell included for first time among Fortune 500 roster of world's largest companies.

1993 -- Company joins the ranks of the top five PC makers worldwide. Subsidiaries in Australia and Japan are the company's first entries into the Asia-Pacific region.

1995 -- Original $8.50 shares of Dell stock worth $100 per share on pre-split basis.

1996 -- Dell opens an Internet computer store through its Web site, www.dell.com. Today, online sales total more than $14 million per day. Asia-Pacific manufacturing center in Penang, Malaysia, opens. Company is added to Standard & Poor's 500 stock index.

1997 -- Dell ships its 10-millionth computer system. Value of stock reaches $1,000 per share on pre-split basis. Company introduces its first workstation systems.

1998 -- Dell expands manufacturing facilities in the Americas and Europe and opens production and customer center in Xiamen, China.

1999 -- Dell announces expansion into the Nashville area.