Friday, June 17, 2005

PBS | I, Cringely . June 16, 2005 - The Osborne Effect

PBS | I, Cringely . June 16, 2005 - The Osborne Effect: "The reason for the drop was that the Osborne Executive was not competitive with the Kaypro, a slapped-together rival priced at a couple hundred less ($1,795 instead of $1,995 for the Osborne 1), but it had a much larger screen -- 12 inches compared to O1's five inches.
The Executive came out, much better built, more manufacturable, but with a mere 7-inch screen. There was deep disappointment among Osborne fans. Worse, it was priced at $2,195 -- a two hundred dollar increase in a very price-sensitive end of the market! Four hundred dollars more than Kaypro for a brand name but a smaller screen? No thank you! Buyers walked away. Osborne sales dropped to fewer than a thousand a month for the next three months--which was enough to choke the high-flying company, which was forced to declare bankruptcy after a mere five months of this.
But the buyers just walked across the street to the Kaypro. Kaypro sales jumped to nearly 10,000 a month -- in other words, they captured all the disgusted Osborne buyers. Which proves the Osborne's disaster had nothing to do with, as legend has it, the 'pre-announced DOS machine.' The Kaypro was and remained for the next 18 months a CP/M machine.
So poor Adam Osborne is off the hook. Spread the word."

I stand corrected. BTW I still have my trusty Kaypro -- here's a picture of a similar box on eBay, for those of you who weren't born yet when I purchased it... Tragically, the CP/M boot disk for this type of unit is currently listed on eBay for the same asking price -- $9.99.
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