Amstrad was founded in 1968 by Alan Sugar to produce consumer electronics. The company quickly moved to the forefront of low-priced TV & Hi-Fi in the seventies.
In 1980, Amstrad went public and doubled in size each year during the early eighties as it entered into the home computer market.
Their first computer, the CPC 464 was launched in 1984 and was followed by the CPC 664 and CPC 6128 models in 1985. Later, in 1990, the “Plus” variants of the 464 and 6128 were launched with increased functionality.
In 1985, the extremely popular Amstrad PCW range was introduced. These were primarily word processors but were also capable of running the CP/M operating system.
On 7 April 1986 Amstrad announced it had bought from Sinclair Research the rights to manufacture and sell Sinclair computer products for £5 million. Amstrad launched two new variants of the Spectrum: the ZX Spectrum +2 which included a built-in tape drive and in the following year, the ZX Spectrum +3, with a built-in floppy disk drive which used the 3” disks that many Amstrad machines used.
In 1986 the company produced a range of affordable MS-DOS-based personal computers, the first of which was the PC1512, priced at £399. It was a huge success, capturing more than 25% of the European computer market.