Markoff eulogizes Osborne

Adam Osborne, inventor of the portable PC, has died. Markoff's obit in the NYT says it best.

The machine created a sensation in the rapidly growing PC marketplace, even though it came with a cramped five-inch display screen. The common belief at the time was that customers were paying for the software, which included popular programs like WordStar, the SuperCalc spreadsheet and Bill Gates's version of the Basic programming language and were getting the computer free.

The Osborne Computer Corporation in Hayward, Calif., became synonymous with the Silicon Valley tradition of hypergrowth defined by companies like Apple Computer and Atari. Orders for the Osborne 1 totaled 8,000 in 1981 and jumped to 110,000 in 1982. At one point, the company said that it had a 25-month backlog of orders.



(via Interesting People)