To celebrate Chinese New Year, we're shining the spotlight on some of our favourite Chinese and Taiwanese technology companies. Today, we're looking at the company that created the netbook category with the Eee PC, Asus.
It's amazing when companies that are so iconic within the technology space are younger than you are. Asus is one those companies. Founded in 1990 by four ex-Acer engineers, TH Tung, Ted Hsu, Wayne Hsieh and MT Liao, the company has grown from a small startup to one of the largest PC and component manufacturers in the world. The name Asus came from the last four letters of the winged horse Pegasus in Greek mythology. Or as Asus puts it:
ASUS embodies the strength, creative spirit and purity symbolized by this regal and agile mythical creature, soaring to new heights of quality and innovation with each product it introduces to the market.
The list of Asus accomplishments is long and varied, but easily the most significant in recent memory was the announcement of the Eee PC at Computex in 2007. It was a revolution in personal computing, introducing the idea of a low-cost, low-powered machine to the masses as a tool for basic web functionality. Originally running Linux, the Eee PC was a massive hit, which was hardly a surprise given its sub-$500 price point.
Since the original launch, the Eee PC has continued to innovate and lead the netbook category. And despite losing some of its appeal since the launch of the iPad and the sudden demand for tablets rather than low cost PCs, Asus hasn't stopped pushing their products to the forefront of computer development.
The range of Asus products is impressive. According to Wikipedia, Asus make a huge list of products including "motherboards, graphics cards, sound cards, optical disc drives, PDAs, computer monitors, laptops, servers, networking products, mobile phones, computer cases, computer components, and computer cooling systems". Asus claim to command 40% of the global motherboard marketshare, which is a massive majority for a company about to celebrate its 21st birthday.
As a pioneer and leader in computing technology, it's hard to look past the fantastic efforts of Asus. We've no doubt that the next 21 years will be just as successful for the Taiwanese company.