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Atari as a builder of IBM PC clones


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I know Atari had some IBM PC clones at some point, but that was never there primary market. After Jack took over in 1984 most everything in personal computers was TOS-based and focused on "computers for the masses not the classes".

 

I wonder though if they would have found more success letting go of TOS and building PC clones that could compete on speed and price. Atari would have been another Dell or Compaq but maybe that wouldn't have been a bad thing at the time. They were too busy beating back Amiga. If Jack really wanted to build "computers for the masses not the classes" he could have gone where the masses were and built really inexpensive PC clones to reach more people. You know he would have done it for rock-bottom pricing.

Welcome to the short bus.

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Yeah that's cool! I've seen that, I'm just wondering why they didn't do more with it. Jack Tramiel's Best quality is that he could build reliable computers at rock-bottom pricing. It would have been interesting to see them compete aggressively in the IBM PC market. They could have run circles around Dell and Compaq.

Welcome to the short bus.

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I always wondered the same thing as well but in the end I think it looked bad all-around to make proprietary hardware like the ST or Falcon and then sell a re-badged clone of a PC. By the time the Falcon was done for anyways they weren't even worried or concerned about computers as much as they were betting the house on the Jaguar, which obviously didn't work. It would have been smart for them to stay in the PC business somehow... then maybe they wouldn't have actually went completely out of business or find the need to merge with JTS. The ABC line always had a futuristic and modern look to them, in my opinion, they just weren't obviously marketed correctly because Atari was just doing too much all the time. Seeing as how they launched an Atari Interactive to release their titles on PC as well, it would have done them well. It was just too late...  outside of aesthetics, I don't think their machines offered anything the other PC guys were doing and probably at a better price. It's hard to compete with the big guys when you're just building another "me too" PC.

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