Data General

Data General was one of the first minicomputer firms of the late 1960s. Three of the four founders were former employees of Digital Equipment Corporation.

Their first product, released in 1969, was the Data General Nova, a 16-bit minicomputer. The Nova was packaged into a single rack-mount case and had enough power to do most simple computing tasks and became popular in science laboratories around the world. It used their own operating system, Data General RDOS (DG/RDOS), and in conjunction with programming languages like "Data General Business Basic" provided a multi-user operating system with record locking and built-in databases far ahead of many contemporary systems. The Nova family of minicomputers was very popular in the 1970s and ultimately sold tens of thousands of examples. The Nova was followed by the Supernova and Eclipse product lines, all of which were used in many applications for the next two decades.

The company employed an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) sales strategy to sell to third parties who incorporated Data General computers into the OEM's specific product lines. A series of missteps in the 1980s, including missing the advance of microcomputers despite the launch of the microNOVA in 1977, and the Data General-One portable computer in 1984, led to a decline in the company's market share. The company did continue into the 1990s, however, and was eventually acquired by EMC Corporation (now Dell EMC) in 1999.