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Compaq Computer Corporation was founded in February 1982 by Rod Canion[?], Jim Harris[?] and Bill Murto[?], three senior managers from semiconductor manufacturer Texas Instruments. Each invested $1,000 to form the company. Their first venture capital came from Ben Rosen and Sevin-Rosen partners.

The first product was one of the first portable versions of an IBM PC compatible personal computer. This "luggable" suitcase-sized computer was the progenitor of the modern laptop. Although not the first portable computer, it was the first portable IBM-compatible PC--indeed, it was the first IBM-compatible PC, period--and it proved to be popular.

Compaq became a significant player in the PC industry when, in 1987, they introduced the first PC based on Intel Corp's new 80386 microprocessor, the first 32-bit processor in the x86 line. By introducing a PC with a processor IBM had chosen, at the time, not to use, Compaq established what had been known disparagingly as the "PC clone" business as a force for innovation in the PC business.

Later in 1987, when IBM released its Microchannel-based IBM PS/2 line, Compaq was one of the leading supporters of EISA, an industry-standard challenger to IBM's proprietary architecture.

In 1998, Compaq acquired Digital Equipment Corporation, the leading company in the previous generation of computing during the 1970s and early 1980s.

Compaq has now merged with Hewlett-Packard and is under the leadership of CEO Carly Fiorina[?].

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