Mission Advert - January 1988
From Personal Computer World
Mission 386.2: The world's first 20MHz 80386 machine.
Here's another nice example of how it seemed every company even vaguely related to electronics was getting into the microcomputer game, in this case UK high-end hifi manufacturer Mission.
It had set up a microcomputer company - Mission Cyrus Inc. - in British Columbia, Canada, along with investment from a UK bank and the government of British Columbia.
The Mission 386.2 was, according to the advert, the world's first 20MHz 80386 machine, at a time when this state-of-the-art processor was generally used for multi-user systems - not in the older sense of a base computer with multiple dumb terminals, but in the more modern "server" sense, with its support for Novell Netware or Unix.
The company seemed to be well into its sideline, as it had been planning some high-end gear including a colour 80486 portable and a SPARC workstation.
It appears to have been set up sometime around 1987 and had apparently been supplying computers into Europe, although this is the first advert noted in the UK press - that said, this one advert appeared on almost every back page of Personal Computer World for the entire year.
By the end of 1989 it was building a 30,000ft² facility in Mountain View, California and was planning to target 10-15% of IBM's top resellers as part of its move into the US.
The company seemed to struggle, and by the summer of 1990 it was in the Canadian equivalent of the US's Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, which meant it couldn't pay for parts to fulfil its orders.
This had been triggered by the "small British bank" withdrawing a planned $3.7 million investment - about £9 million in 2024 terms.
In the interim its research and development had moved back to Mission's UK headquarters in Huntingdon, whilst there were also suggestions that the company could be sold outright to an electronics conglomerate for between $5 and $10 million, or around £15 to £31 million now.
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