Commodore’s Missed opportunities: the fall of the Soviet Union

The 80s and 90s witnessed a pivotal period in the technology industry, characterized by the rise and fall of major players. Among them, Commodore stood as a leading company, known for its innovative products like the Commodore 64 and the Amiga Home Computer. Due to political and economic factors, the Commodore Amiga was not widely available in most Warsaw Pact countries. The distribution of Western technology, including personal computers like the Amiga, was heavily regulated and controlled by the authorities in many communist countries. Despite the limited official availability, some computer enthusiasts in the Warsaw Pact countries did manage to obtain and use the Amiga through unofficial channels, such as personal connections or importing the computer from abroad. However, when the iron curtain fell, Commodore failed to capitalize on this historic event and completely neglected any possible expanison into the emerging East European markets and this is probably one of the greatest failures ever by Commodore. With the dissolution of the Soviet Union, new independent countries emerged, including Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, and others in Eastern Europe and many in Central Asia. Microsoft and Apple recognized the potential of these markets and sought to expand its presence in the region. The company began establishing local subsidiaries and offices in key cities to support sales, marketing, and technical support activities. Microsoft and Apple actively sought partnerships with local businesses and technology companies in the post-Soviet countries. By collaborating with local firms, Microsoft gained valuable insights into the specific needs and requirements of the region, allowing the company to tailor its products and services accordingly. To cater to the diverse linguistic and cultural landscape of the post-Soviet countries, Microsoft invested in localization efforts. This involved translating its software products and documentation into local languages, making them more accessible and user-friendly for the populations in the region. Language support played a crucial role in increasing the adoption of Microsoft’s products in these emerging markets. How Commodore overlooked a market with over 288 million potential users is beyond believe, most PC’s and Apple computers had a very expensive price and Commodore could have filled the gap with it’s more affordable Amiga 500+ and Amiga 2000 computers.

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