When online travel agency Orbitz opened for business in 2001, startups like Travelocity and Expedia, which controlled 70
percent of the market for Internet bookings, weren't necessarily its founders' chief concern. The big question was how to build a Web-accessible
version of the 40-year-old computer reservation system used by most travel agents. Orbitz couldn't afford a mainframe booking system to compete with a
giant such as Sabre; the machines required to run one would have devoured the company's $50 million in startup funding.
July 1, 2003