The entry of established electronics companies into the early computer industry in the UK and USA
This thesis studies the efforts of a number of large electronics firms to enter and survive in the computer industries of the USA and Britain, from the Second World War to the early 1970s. It contrasts the relative failure of these firms with the greater ability to survive in this sector displayed by single product business machine companies and a number of new, start up, computer firms. The potential advantages that the multi-product electronics enterprise should have had in the new computer market are seen to have been outweighed by these firms being over burdened by the very scope of their operations. Their efforts to cover the whole electronics industry, rather than concentrating on a few sectors, mitigated the potential that they had. A number of case studies of such firms, both British and American, form the heart of this study. The main studies are:- UK: Ferranti, Electrical and Musical Industries and English Electric. US: Radio Corporation of America, and General Electric. To contrast the strategies and structures of the electronics combines, a number of short studies are made of British and American business machines and start-up companies: UK: International Computers and Tabulators. US: International Business Machines, and shorter studies on Burroughs, Control Data Corp., Digital Equipment Corp., Honeywell, National Cash Register, and Sperry-Rand. Study of the electronics firms in the computer industry sheds light on the overall weakness of the broad-based, multi-product, British and American electronics company in the electronics industry as a whole. There is also some comment on the roles of the two governments in shaping the computer industry.