GCN at 25: Dell's turning point

If you walk into a typical federal agency office, chances are pretty good you'll see Dell PCs on the desks. The company's boxes have become fed fixtures. It wasn't always that way, of course.

GCN 25th anniversary logoFor many years, IBM owned the government market. The tide seemed to be turning in November 1990, though, in a GCN Product Preference survey of desktop systems.

Specifically, the survey focused on 16 MHz Intel 386 systems, and although IBM's PS/2 Model 80-041/071 narrowly won the top overall score from readers, two upstarts were right behind, the survey found.

One was the Dell System 316, which got the highest marks in the most categories, including reliability, but finished a point behind IBM overall. Eventually, Dell would win enough fans in the federal market to gain dominance. On the other hand, being a promising upstart doesn't mean you'll stay in the federal market.

The other PC that tied with Dell's 316 ' right behind IBMs ' was the Everex Step 386/16 from Everex Systems. Everex is still producing and selling computers ' many of them overseas ' and marketing them in this country mainly through Wal-Mart.

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