Also found in: Acronyms, Wikipedia.


The leading PC manufacturer when acquired by HP in 2002. Compaq, which stood for "compatibility and quality," was founded in 1982 by Rod Canion, Jim Harris and Bill Murto, all from Texas Instruments. One year later, Compaq shipped 53,000 IBM PC-compatible COMPAQ Portables running MS-DOS, and the $111 million revenue was an American business record. Compaq's success was due to enabling the machine to run all software written for the IBM PC, a task others had not yet accomplished as thoroughly (see ROM BIOS). See PC clone.

In 1984, Compaq introduced its DESKPRO desktop computers and achieved a sales record in its second year. In 1986, it was the first to offer a 386-based machine. Throughout its history, Compaq was well respected for its high-quality products and innovations. Maintaining this high profile kept it from initially competing with the mail order houses that were dramatically driving down prices in the 1990s. Compaq later became competitive and a leading vendor in the mass market stores.

In 1997, Compaq acquired Tandem Computers, the first company to build fault-tolerant computers from the ground up. Tandem brought Compaq a strong background in high-availability systems for mission critical applications. In 1998, Compaq acquired Digital Equipment Corporation, one of the oldest computer companies. Digital's presence in major companies, plus its large service organization, added an enterprise presence for Compaq. See Digital Equipment.

Compaq's Founders
Canion, Harris and Murto (left to right) founded one of the most successful computer companies in the industry. (Image courtesy of Compaq Computer Corporation.)

The COMPAQ Portable
The COMPAQ Portable was the first completely IBM-compatible PC. Its rugged construction and "luggability" (30 pounds) made it a huge success. (Image courtesy of Compaq Computer Corporation.)
Copyright © 1981-2019 by The Computer Language Company Inc. All Rights reserved. THIS DEFINITION IS FOR PERSONAL USE ONLY. All other reproduction is strictly prohibited without permission from the publisher.
References in periodicals archive ?
"Compaq sees the content and resources of local newspapers as being an incredibly strong set of assets."
Compaq will offer a "Networked Home in a Box," which includes two personal computers, color monitors and a color printer for under $2,500.
Fryer is not the only victim of Compaq's heavy hand on the Internet.
In all, DisneyQuest is home to numerous Compaq Professional Workstations, Deskpro PCs, ProLiant servers and display monitors, including TFT500 flat-panel monitors.
If you're writing business reports or playing computer golf, the Compaq is the compact pc for you!
When Compaq announced its second generation of portable PCs, the Portable II, with an 8-inch green monochrome screen, a 20 MB hard drive, 1 MB of RAM, and an 80286 Intel processor at about 4 MHz clock speed, I bought it.
The company released details for the Compaq Presario CQ61z notebook, the Compaq Presario 4010f desktop PC and the Compaq 500B Series desktop PCs.
The Compaq Evo N620 notebook is backed by HP's world-class global services network.
"The new Compaq Evo N200 is the smallest and lightest notebook in its class ," said Kevin Frost, vice president of marketing, Compaq Computer Corporation's Access Business Group.
ENSA-2, the second stage of Compaq's storage networking product roadmap, was launched in August 2001 with a number of new features, including 'DtS' or 'DAS to SAN' technology, which protects existing storage investments by enabling the wider storage area network to utilise disk space in directly attached systems.
ClearTrust SecureControl allows customers to centrally set, enforce, and manage the security policies that govern user authentication, authorization, and single sign-on for all Web server- and Web application server-based applications running on the Compaq Tru64 UNIX operating system.