Osborne 1: the first lap-top

‘The Osborne 1 was the first commercially successful portable microcomputer, released on April 3, 1981 by Osborne Computer Corporation. It weighed 10.7 kg and cost $1795. Its principal deficiencies were a tiny 5 inches display screen and use of floppy disk drives which could not contain sufficient data for practical business applications.

The company sold 11,000 Osborne 1s in the eight months following its July 1981 debut. Osborne had difficulty meeting demand, and the company grew from two employees, Adam Osborne and designed by Lee Felsenstein, to 3,000 people and $73 million in revenue in 12 months. The growth was so rapid that, in one case, an executive who returned from a one-week trade show had to search two buildings to find her relocated staff.

OCC declared bankruptcy on September 13, 1983′

- Wikipedia

Thank you to Amanda Uren

13 comments to Osborne 1: the first lap-top

  • Rich

    …but the guy on the right may dislocate his shoulder.

  • Jodi

    Funny - “You can buy it in any color you want, as long as it’s blue”

  • Jonathan

    I wonder why it has two floppy disk drives? If they were aiming for portability, I would have thought one would be an acceptable compromise!

  • Karen

    One floppy drive was for the program; the other was to save your data.

  • Robin Nixon

    And you know why the company went bust? Osborne said to reporters, “If you like this machine, wait till you see what’s coming in the next version.” And, of course, everyone did wait, sales of the Osborne 1 plummetted, and with its cash base wiped out so was the Osborne’s future - although Osborne’s name still lives on in the form of the McGraw-Hill Osborne book imprint.

  • Paul

    I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Osborne when he came to town to speak to a software group. We had dinner at a Ceylonese restaurant, and he spoke to the wait staff in fluent Tamil….interesting man.

  • Don

    The color comment is a reference back to Ford and his quote that you can get his Car “in any Color you want, as long as it’s Black.”

  • Chris

    I have a collection of these old luggables (and early laptops), including an Osborne-1. It never ceases to amaze people what we used to consider “portable.”

  • Gus

    The guy on the right is not too clever as he dopiest have any lunch packed …..

  • Gus

    The guy on the right is not too clever as he doesn’t have any lunch packed …..

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  • Neal J. King

    Robin Nixon:

    Yes, Osborne “discovered” the First PC-Marketing Blunder: announce the features of Version 2 while trying to sell Version 1.

    John Sculley “discovered” the Second PC-Marketing Blunder: when you have a better hardware product, charge more for the hardware instead of taking the advantage in market share; thus dooming your platform to the margins in the software market.

    Whereas Bill Gates discovered the First PC-Marketing Insight: Customers will accept frustrating and unreliable interfaces if they can keep functionality they have learned to depend on.

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