Originally Posted by AJCopland
IMHO Commodore demise has nothing to do with technical problems or money, it was poor management all the way down.
They made a lot of money from the Amiga in the early days, easily paying off it's development, marketing and expenses right up to and including the A3000.
Where it went wrong is hard to say but they could have, and should have, done more with the A1200/A4000/CD32. I love those machines and I have one of each
but it's obvious that they're not what they should have been when they were released.
The raising salaries seems to be a common (bad) management tactic. My thought is they knew the end was coming so they took what they could from the company before it happened.
What went wrong is exactly what you said, they could have done more with the 1200/4000/cd32 but they didn't. It happens with companies, they get a good product and it starts selling and they pat themselves on the back and give themselves big bonuses but neglect to invest in R&D for the next big product so someone else takes over. Commodore did it, HP did it, AT&T did it IBM did it, etc
In economics its called the cash cow, you milk it for all its worth, the 64 and a500 were the cash cows of commodore. They milked them until they ran dry without raising a new cow to take over.
Economics also follow a cycle. As much as people want to blame or praise government leaders for busts or booms, in reality when you step back and take a marco image you see the cycle of ups and downs.
The computer industry had an early up where they were first mass produced in the 60s and business and colleges started buying them because they were the next big thing. Then you had a downturn in the 70's then the uptick again in the 80s with the c64, apple, etc as people starting buying them home. Then another downturn for companies like Atari, Commodore, Apple (though they survived) as the IBM (compatible) pc took an upturn partly because now the PC had a point and drool interface just like the others. You also had the start of the internet generation, yes even though the Amigas could connect to the internet you didn't have AOL or other popular services that people needed a PC to use. So for the average non tech person who didn't understand what a mozilla or a netscape was (or lynx or pine or ftp) they had to give away their amiga and buy a PC to stick in their AOL disk.
PC technology was changing too, you went from ISA to EISA then VLB then PCI. Wen went from At to PS2 to USB for peripherals. The cpu wars between AMD and Intel helped to bring the price down as the speed went up. I think Commodore would have had to invest a lot of money back into updating the Amiga line to be equivalent with the PC hardware and decided it was better to milk the existing for all they can than risk making a huge investment that may or may not pay off.