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Founded by hard drive pioneer Alan Shugart and his associates, Seagate Technology was originally incorporated as Shugart Technology in November 1978 and began operations the following year, which primarily included efforts to create a 5.25-inch hard drive after forecasting a boom in market.
The company’s name was changed to Seagate in 1979 to avoid legal action from Xerox’s eponymous subsidiary, Shugart Associates, a computer peripheral manufacturer founded by Shugart in 1973 and perhaps best known for the 5.25-inch “mini-disk drive” .
Shugart/Seagate was the first to market the 5.25-inch 5MB micro-Winchester ST-506 hard drive and were first acquired by Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC, acquired by Compaq in 1998).
Storage Technology Corporation was founded in 1969 as a backup storage technology company and was bought by Sun Microsystems for $4.1 billion in 2005. Maxtor was a rival hard drive manufacturer founded in 1982 and acquired by Seagate in 2006.
Incidentally, another storage giant and competitor, Western Digital, was founded in 1970 as General Digital, a manufacturer of MOS test equipment.