Laptop/Notebook Computer: Compaq releases the first commercially successful laptop
Today’s laptop computer has evolved over decades from different types of portable computers but the Compaq was the most successful early model.
Alan Kay of the Xerox Corporation proposed the Dynabook concept in 1971. His idea was to create a portable networked personal computer. However, at the time there was no market for it so the idea was shelved. In 1981 Alan Osborne of the Osborne 1; the first fully portable personal computer. The size of a small suitcase and weighed about 24 pounds (11kg).
The first clamshell design was the GRiD Compass 1101, invented by Bill Moggride and realised in 1982. Galivan Computer released what is considered to be the first true “laptop” computer in 1983; it was the smallest and lightest portable computer to date.
However, it was Compaq Computer Corporation that stole the market from these rivals in 1983 with the Compaq Portable. Rod Canion, Jim Harris and Bill Murto founded Compaq in 1982 after leaving Texas Instruments. This idea for the Compaq Portable was supposedly sketched out on a placemat from a Houston pie shop. The computer was “reverse-engineered” using IBM BIOS source code to create a new version of a system that operated like IBM’s. This was important considering IBM’s huge success in the computer market during this time.
Compaq enjoyed record-breaking revenue in 1983, the year it first released the Portable. Following the model’s success in the market, laptops have evolved even further, developing into the smaller and faster models of today.