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The "Osborne Effect" refers to the unintended consequences of announcing a future product ahead of its availability -- and its impact upon the sales of the current product. Here are the eight worst Osbornes we've ever seen.
While everyone knows that the Osborne Effect was named for Adam Osborne and the demise of the Osborne 1 computer, was it really the first example of "doing an Osborne"?
A number of computer historians have pointed out that the first example of "doing an Osborne" probably originated with North Star Computers, Inc back in 1978, five years before Osborne shuffled off its mortal coil.
North Star was an early CP/M personal computer vendor. In 1978, North Star Computers announced a new version of its floppy disk controller at the same price, but with double the capacity of the old controller. When sales of the old controller decreased, the company nearly went out of business.
Everyone knows the Osborne story: In 1983 Adam Osborne pre-announces the replacement models (which have yet to be built) for the venerable Osborne 1. Sales of the Osborne 1 tanked, and the company goes out of business shortly thereafter.
Affadavits from former Osborne employees given a number of years later cast some doubts on the mythology, although they do not fully discount the company's rapid demise due to the product pre-announcements.They allege that competing products such as the Kaypro shipping at the time had a larger screen and were less expensive than Osborne's next-generation replacement for the Osborne 1 and included bundled software, making them a superior value. Kaypro had already begun to cut into Osborne's sales, and other mismanagement at Osborne may have contributed to the company's downfall.