Tulip Computers is a computer manufacturer founded in 1979 by Franz Hetzenauer and Rob Romein and has grown into one of the largest in Europe and pioneered the integration and construction of computers.
The company started as Compudata. A company importing the American Exidy Sorcerer. Shortly afterwards they started producing these machines themselves under license.
In the early 80’s they developed their own computer which came out in 1983 as the Compudata Tulip System 1, the last computer with the name Compudata and the first with Tulip.
In 1985, under pressure from customers’ desire to build a more IBM PC compatible machine, 2 new computers came onto the market. The powerful 16-bit Tulip PC Advance, later renamed PC Extend due to copyright, and the slightly less powerful 8-bit Tulip PC Compact. The PC Extend was slower than its predecessor to 100% emulate the IBM PC with an Intel 8086 processor, however the machine was very powerful for its time. The PC Compact was just as compatible, but used the 8-bit 8088 processor.
Production of both computers was discontinued in 1987 due to 3 new assets. The Tulip AT Compact, Tulip Compact 2 and Tulip 386. The latter was a very expensive machine, but it was the first European IBM PC compatible with an 80386 processor.
The great (and perhaps greatest) success was with the Tulip Compact 2. The machine was the first PC Privé project, a project to buy computers cheaply. Several 10,000 computers were delivered in 1 weekend. This made the computer builder from ‘s-Hertogenbosch the 2nd largest computer builder in the Netherlands and the 4th in Europe.
Tulip Computers were known for their solid quality and faster speeds. Tulip was also the first computer manufacturer where USB was standard on the motherboard, they also pioneered the supply of an installed operating system from Microsoft.
In September 1997 the company was in the news because it had bought the ailing company company Escom / Commodore. Shortly afterwards it made the news again, but this time because Franz Hetzenauer had sold all shares just before a historic loss of 27.5 guilders.
Later that year, it filed for a moratorium and the factory was sold to Ingram Micro. The Tulip brand continued to exist as a sales company.
In 2000, the company sued Dell for patent infringement of a riser. Tulip lost and Ingram Micro had to close in 2003.
In 2008, the company changed name one more time, Nedfield BV. However, this no longer sold computers. In September 2009 Nedfield also closed and it was definitely the end.