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Why the TI-99/4A became the quintessential computer orphan.


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It was Commodore that killed it.  TI, Atari, and Apple were all building their own user base and niche in the market.  Commodore with the 64 came in and started the battle to the bottom of pricing.  It was a dick move by Jack Tramiel.  Not only did he hurt every other player in the market, but he also shot himself in the foot.  Commodore had the superior (in many ways) machine.  Why not keep profit margins high and keep the $500 price point?  He would have risen to the top anyway, and the other companies would have been fine too. 

But nope...lowering prices relentlessly just killed everyone.  Stupid, because Apple and Atari were also his customers (with MOS Technology chips). 

 

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I'll admit Commode was part of the problem, especially with their pricing, because as profit margins dropped, so did quality on those machines to cut costs and retain some profit for the shareholders.  Surprisingly quality, in my opinion was not largest factor, as many machines were semi-out-date after only 18 months, and people wanted to buy the latest, greatest and most powerful.  Now days PC owners have more powerful computers than they can really exploit to their maximum potential, so they keep them for years.  Heck,some people only have a smartphone!

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6 hours ago, GRay Defender said:

Was that from "Halt and Catch fire" ? Anyhow were they really talking about the TI99/4a or is that a coincidence?  Anyhow what a great show that was...

Yes, that was Halt & Catch Fire.  Yes, I really think they were talking about the TI-99/4A.  Coffee cup warmer, 256 byte register, 4 cycle wait, and Texas Instruments DID get out of the PC market.  Too many coinkydinks for it to NOT be the TI.

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