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The Atari TT was launched in 1990.  Atari wanted to use the TT as an assault on the DTP and Workstation market segment, and companies such as NASA purchased the machines.  Atari missed a unique opportunity in the DTP arena back in the mid to late eighties with the Mega range of computers - The Atari TT was another (actually the last) chance for Atari to give that campaign another chance.

In an effort to change the perception of Atari as a "games company in the U.S. market that just happens to sell a few computers as well", Atari needed to bring the American public back on it's side and prove it would properly service their home market. Europe was where Atari sold more than 75% of it's computer products, many American dealers and users were always second to Europe in product launch and availability.

Unfortunately, Atari began by previewing the TT in Hanover, Germany., Atari's biggest single market in Europe.  Selling well in Europe, especially to DTP houses and colleges in Germany, the US would not see it's launch until nearly a year later.  Today, no major PC manufacturer could do the same and launch a PC product in Germany and wait a year to launch in their home territory!

The launch was much anticipated by all serious Atari users, and due to the nature of the PC business Ten years ago, i.e. Wintel machines weren't all dominant as they are today, the major computer press also covered the launch of the machine.

This was a serious contender at launch, especially to Apple, who's equivalent 68030 system was 2 and a half times as expensive with less features!  There were many in Atari that were close to the TT project, and some senior management who really wanted resources spent in the business segment.  Atari had a window to really push their new computer in areas it excelled in, like no other computer could match on the market at the time.

Atari spent a lot of time and resources preparing the TT for a business push.  There was a separate team at Atari putting together the Unix implementation for the TT, nearly a year late after it was initially announced, it received a very low-key launch, limited supplies were available, and shortly after, the team responsible for Unix were disbanded by Atari U.S. as the computer division was being slowly wound sown.

Unfortunately, the TT wasn't marketed in any real way, and I only ever remember seeing one advertisement for the TT, which I read in 1991 in a Toronto (Canada) newspaper.  If you have any other TT ads, please let AEX know!

The TT was a beautiful machine, and they are still a prized possession today - by the end of 1992 however, TT production had ended (apart from a small re-run for Jaguar development in 1993) and Atari were already planning an exit from the computer market - Microsoft and IBM PC clones were on the march, ending the exciting pioneering technology of the Atari Computers Systems division.


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