Key events in history of Dell

Dell, which unveiled plans Tuesday to take the former number one computer maker private in a buyout led by company founder Michael Dell worth $24.4 billion, has been a leading PC maker for three decades.

Here are some key events in the company's history:

- 1984: 19-year-old University of Texas freshman Michael Dell starts a new computer business under the name of PC's Limited, assembling PCs from stock components. He leaves his dorm room at the end of his freshman year to devote time to the business.

- 1985: Its first computer system, the Turbo PC, is marketed in mail orders, with an Intel 8088 processor, 10 megabyte hard drive and a 5.25-inch floppy drive.

- 1987: International operations are launched in Britain.

- 1988: Dell completes its initial public offering, raising $30 million, giving it a market value of $85 million.

- 1989: Dell introduces its first laptop.

- 1992: Dell joins the Fortune 500, with Michael Dell the youngest chief executive to lead a company in this group.

- 1995: Dell expands worldwide operations in Europe, Asia, Japan and the Americas.

- 1998: A sales, manufacturing and support center is opened in Xiamen, China and manufacturing sites are launched in Ireland, Brazil and the United States. Dell adds to its server and storage systems.

- 1999: Dell becomes number one PC seller in the US market, and a major maker for business PCs worldwide.

- 2001: Dell becomes top computer systems provider worldwide, and leader in in US Intel-based server shipments.

- 2009: Dell acquires Perot Systems and launches a new business called Dell Services. The company enters the smartphone market with the Mini 3i from China Mobile.

- 2010: Dell launches a five-inch tablet called Streak, which it will abandon the following year.

- 2011: Dell reports record revenues, and buys more firms in enterprise solutions and services. The company pledges $1 billion to develop Dell data and solution centers around the world and for research centers in Israel and the US.

- June 2012: Dell announces it will use some of its cash stockpile to pay dividends in a bid to boost shareholder value.

- November 2012: Dell reports a 47 percent drop in profits but claims its new strategy emphasizing software and cloud computing is paying off. It now ranks third in global PC sales. Dell's share price hovers around $10, from an all-time high of more than $53 in 2000.

- January 2013: A plan is unveiled to take the company private in a buyout led by Michael Dell and investment firm Silver Lake.