Re: Not bad for the year -- but they may not be telling us everything
An Intel MDS typically had an in-circuit emulator -- a F'in Big Plug on the end of a cable that fitted into the target hardware where an 8080A, 8085, 8086 or 8088 would normally go. That allowed a programmer/developer like me to write Assembler and later C code for a target system and then run it natively with hardware trace, triggers and a whole load more without adding piles of memory-hogging debug statements and the like.
So, yes, an Intel MDS could cost £50,000 although that was an all-options pricetag, a bit like a fat Mac Pro workstation. The Intel MDS we had only had an ICE for the 8080A and floppy disks, no HDD but that still cost the thick end of £15,000 back then (mid 70s). We did get a swingeing academic discount on that sticker price though, along with restrictions on what we could do with it like no commercial development work.
Anyone else have one of the Blue Meanies, BTW? Ours had most or all of the chips inside in sockets on vertically-mounted boards and inadequate cooling resulting in the chips walking out of their sockets over time due to thermal cycling. It was a regular thing for us to take the cover off and push them back in place before starting the system up in the morning.