Dell, Incorporated is a computer hardware manufacturer and distributor. The company is one of the world's largest computer distributors in terms of both quantity of units sold and gross income, and one of the United States' largest corporations. From 1999 until 2006 Dell delivered more complete computer systems worldwide per quarter than any other PC manufacturer. However, a bad reputation stemming from poor customer support had seen Dell's market shrink, with rival Hewlett-Packard outselling Dell for the first time in Q4 2006. Dell is now attempting to improve it's image with Linux-based desktop and laptop models, a community-driven idea generation website, and a move to less expensive AMD processors.
Most of Dell's products are IBM PC-compatible desktop, laptop, and server computers using Intel or AMD processors. The company also markets a line of HTC-produced handheld computershand, rebranded computer peripherals such as keyboards and mice, and Sony-developed monitors and televisions. Other Dell-branded peripherals such as scanners and printers are often designed in-house with production outsourced. Dell also distributes third-party hardware such as gaming consoles from Sony, Nintendo, and Microsoft. Often Dell will market via the company website third-party devices that compete with it's own products, such as the Palm Tungsten handheld that competes with Dell's own Axim line.
Dell Computer was founded as PC's Limited in 1984 by university student Michael Dell. Selling assembled computers from his dormitory room, Michael abandoned the university during the planning stage of his first in-house computer design in 1985. The company was so successful that within two years PC's Limited had distribution offices in Europe, and changed it's grammatically-incorrect name to Dell Computer Corporation. By 1991, seven years after selling it's first computer, Dell Computer Corporation was listed in the Fortune 500. With much experience in mail order telephone sales, Dell was one of the first companies to offer computers for mail order via the Internet. The Dell Coupon program made many Internet models cheaper than other brands, and continues to be popular to this day.