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With an annual turnover of around $1.8 billion, Logitech is the world's largest manufacturer of computer peripherals. Their products, including keyboards, mice, speakers, webcams, and remotes, are sold in over one hundred countries, and they employ over 7,200 people in more than thirty countries worldwide. Logitech has key offices in the Americas, Europe and Asia, and key manufacturing plant in China. Their research centre has partnerships in California, Switzerland, Canada, Ireland and Asia.
Logitech's story starts in 1976, when Daniel Borel, a Swiss, and Pierluigi Zappacosta, an Ialian, met at Stanford University in California, where they studied computer technology. During their studies they created a word processing system, of which they built a prototype for the Swiss company Bobst. Shortly afterwards they teamed up with Zappacosta's friend Giacomo Marini to work on a project for Ricoh to develop a graphical editor. The three of them founded Logitech in 1981 in the Swiss town of Apples. In 1982, after seeing the prototype graphical editor, Ricoh decided to back the project, and Logitech soon opened their first US office in Palo Alto, California, near the Ricoh development centre.
While busy developing graphical software, their attention turned to a new type of computer peripheral – the mouse – which was already in development at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology. Logitech got involved and helped to take the mouse from the laboratory to the market. In 1982, Logitech launched their first mouse – the Logitech P4, which was the company's first hardware device and also the springboard for Logitech's subsequent development.
After the initial success of the Logitech P4 mouse, the company slowly began to reorient itself towards the development of hardware, with software development gradually taking a back seat. In addition to mice, Logitech started to produce other kinds of hardware equipment, as the company set off on its path to becoming the largest manufacturer of computer accessories in the world.