Acorn Computers


Acorn Computers Ltd.
IndustryComputer hardware
FoundedDecember 1978 (1978-12)
Founder
DefunctDecember 9, 2015 (2015-12-09)
FateBought by MSDW Investment Holdings Limited
HeadquartersCambridge, England, United Kingdom
Key people
Products

Acorn Computers Ltd. was a British computer company established in Cambridge, England, in 1978. The company produced a number of computers which were especially popular in the UK, including the Acorn Electron and the Acorn Archimedes. Acorn's BBC Micro computer dominated the UK educational computer market during the 1980s.[1]

Though the company was broken up into several independent operations in 1998, its legacy includes the development of reduced instruction set computing (RISC) personal computers. One of its operating systems, RISC OS, continues to be developed by RISC OS Open. Some of Acorn's former subsidiaries lived on: ARM Holdings technology is dominant in the mobile phone and personal digital assistant (PDA) microprocessor market.[2]

Acorn is sometimes referred to as the "British Apple"[3][4] and has been compared to Fairchild Semiconductor for being a catalyst for start-ups.[5][6] In 2010, the company was listed by David Meyer in ZDNet as number nine in a feature of top ten "Dead IT giants".[7] Many British IT professionals gained their early experiences on Acorns, which were often more technically advanced than commercially successful US hardware.[8]

  1. ^ "History of ARM: from Acorn to Apple". 6 January 2011. Archived from the original on 16 March 2018 – via The Telegraph.
  2. ^ "ARM CPU Core Dominates Mobile Market". Tech-On!. Nikkei Electronics Asia. Archived from the original on 11 September 2011.
  3. ^ "Acorn founder advocates moving datacentres to NZ". Stuff.co.nz. 31 January 2009. Retrieved 4 March 2012. Acorn Computers, once regarded as the UK's equivalent of Apple Computer ...
  4. ^ Report on Network Computer Technology Archived 3 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine. Simon Booth, European Commission, 1999.
  5. ^ Shillingford, Joia (8 March 2001). "From the BBC Micro, little Acorns grew". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 10 May 2014. Retrieved 2 June 2011. Originally, Acorn planned to use Intel's 286 chip in its Archi-medes computer. But because Intel would not let it license the 286 core and adapt it, Acorn decided to design its own.
  6. ^ Athreye, Suma S. (18 July 2000). "Agglomeration and Growth: A Study of the Cambridge Hi-Tech Cluster" (PDF). SIEPR Discussion Paper No. 00-42. Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research. Archived from the original (PDF) on 21 October 2013. Retrieved 18 June 2012.
  7. ^ Meyer, David (19 November 2010). "Dead IT giants: A top 10 of the fallen". ZDNet. Archived from the original on 3 January 2015. Retrieved 7 March 2012.
  8. ^ "Great oaks from little Acorns? No". Personal Computer World. 26 November 1998. Archived from the original on 20 April 2013. Retrieved 10 April 2012.

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