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Apricot Computers

It is a British manufacturer of business personal computers, originally founded in 1965 as "Applied Computer Techniques" (ACT), changing their name to Apricot Computers, Ltd. in the 1980s.

They were a wholly owned UK company for most of their history but were acquired in the early 1990s by the Mitsubishi Electric Company, which hoped that Apricot would help them compete against Japanese PC manufacturers, in particular NEC which commanded over 50% of the Japanese market at the time.

Apricot was a remarkably innovative computer hardware company. The Birmingham R&D center could build every aspect of a personal computer (except for the actual silicon itself) from custom BIOS and system-level programming to the silk-screen of motherboards and metal-bending for internal chassis all the way to radio-frequency testing of a finished system.

This coupled with a smart and aggressive engineering team allowed Apricot to be the first company in the world with several technical innovations including the first commercial shipment of an all-in-one system with a 3.5-inch floppy drive (ahead of Apple), while in the early 90's they manufactured one of the world's most securex86-based PCs, sold exclusively to the UK governmen

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Désiré Athow
Contributor

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at ITProPortal.com where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.