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Print 33 comment(s) - last by BRB29.. on Jul 5 at 3:00 PM

A failed IPO, a mess of different owners and failure to innovate killed the search engine

AltaVista is one of those things you either have no idea about, or if you remember it, you thought it was shut down years ago. Surprise! 

AltaVista, an early search engine that started in 1995, is still around today. However, these are its end days, as the search market continues to be dominated by the likes of Google (or just Google, actually). 

AltaVista is expected to be laid to rest July 8. 

AltaVista circa 1999
AltaVista circa 1999

The archaic search engine started off strong and successful during the Internet boom of the 1990s, but hit some trouble after a failed initial public offering (IPO) back in 2000. The company was supposed to raise $300 million in December 1999 for the expected April 2000 IPO, but cancelled it due to a drop in the Nasdaq Stock Market. 

From there, AltaVista went through several acquisitions. It was founded by Digital Equipment Corporation in 1995, which was acquired by Compaq in 1998 and merged with Hewlett-Packard in 2002. Overture Services then bought AltaVista alone in 2003, and Overture was purchaased by Yahoo in 2003. 

Aside from failed IPOs and a mess of different owners, AltaVista just couldn't innovate enough to keep up with Google or Yahoo. 

Source: CNET



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hmm
By Iketh on 7/2/2013 12:34:52 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe they just had too many syllables in the name.

On a side note, I clicked on this article not because I recognized AltaVista, but because I cherish reading about failed companies. What's wrong with me?




RE: hmm
By Mitch101 on 7/2/2013 12:55:52 PM , Rating: 2
Digital Equipment Corporation would be a bigger story they had a lot going for them but seemed to fail in execution or bringing innovation to market. Need to look up thier rise and fall.


RE: hmm
By Ammohunt on 7/2/2013 2:21:11 PM , Rating: 2
No need to just follow RIM


RE: hmm
By Argon18 on 7/2/2013 3:13:27 PM , Rating: 2
DEC certainly did not fail in execution or in bringing innovation to market. They had the fastest CPU in the world. At the time, the best x86 chip from intel was the 32 bit Pentium Pro @ 200 Mhz. DEC was selling the Alpha @ 500 Mhz, and fully 64-bit. No competition!!

DEC was best in class, leading-edge technology right up until 1998 when Compaq bought them out. That's when DEC's tech started getting shelved, and product innovation suffered. Then when HP bought Compaq in 2001, that was the final nail in the coffin.

The EVA SAN product line (mid-level enterprise SAN storage) is the only legacy DEC product line that HP still develops and sells.


RE: hmm
By ilt24 on 7/2/2013 4:01:38 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The EVA SAN product line (mid-level enterprise SAN storage) is the only legacy DEC product line that HP still develops and sells.


I think the EVA line is near it's end as HP is now pushing EVA customers to move their 3PAR solutions.


RE: hmm
By Hector2 on 7/3/2013 10:39:11 AM , Rating: 2
The Alpha was not x86 compatible and, though the Alpha was the acknowledged better architecture and performance leader, sales were disappointing and it and DEC died off


RE: hmm
By Hector2 on 7/3/2013 10:31:00 AM , Rating: 2
I worked for DEC in the '80s and '90s. They made a ton of money in minicomputers and kept about $5B cash in the bank during their heyday. Biggest computer company behind IBM. They tried to break into the mainframe business (VAX9000) but at $1M each became too expensive when compared to the fast emerging workstations, including their own Alpha. At the low-end, they made a PC that was compatible with their own VAX line but not x86. They died as they were squeezed in the middle and replaced by x86 PCs and workstations.


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