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[Rant] Companies are copying Amiga's and TAO Group's ideasANN.lu
Posted on 01-Feb-2001 18:12 GMT by Christian Kemp13 comments
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Henrik Mikael Kristensen writes: Well, this is actually both an opinion and a news item. Certain events taking place right now in certain companies could be important to the future of Amiga Inc. And it should show why charging 99$ for an SDK is very reasonable, IMHO.
I read an article on a Danish news service SOL.dk, which makes me think that many large companies are trying to duplicate Amiga's idea of the "write once, run anywhere" philoshopy, thus pushing Amiga out of the market before they even get in there.

The US based company QualComm are trying to build a standard operating system to be used on all cell-phones. The standard is called BREW™, Binary Runtime Environment for Wireless. If you take away "Wireless", you'd have what TAO Group is doing. Almost.

Here's a description from their own site: The BREW platform allows developers to create applications that operate on all handsets with QUALCOMM CDMA chipsets. BREW sits between the chip system software and the application, making the phone's functionality available to the application without requiring the developer to have the chip system source code or even a direct relationship with a handset manufacturer. One concern here is the narrow scope of the operating system: Cell-phones and wireless only.
Another concern is that Microsoft, Symbian and Ericsson are mentioned in the article, making similar systems each with their own standards. Amiga isn't mentioned at all. Just bad journalism? Hopefully.

Worse yet, QualComm want to electronically certify all BREW™ programs before they can run on consumer products and ask a fee of those spreading the programs (phone-companies). That's called the TRUE BREW™ compatibility test. Of course the test itself costs money. End-users will also have to pay for all applications. So basically both users and developers are forced to pay QualComm for application development. Freeware is no option.
This approach is far more hostile towards developers and end-users than what Amiga Inc. have in mind. Even Microsoft aren't this hostile.
Yet still, the largest cell-phone company in the US (Verizon) are following the standards of BREW™, and others are following as well. Amiga may have lost many potential customers there.
Another limitation is that BREW™ currently only runs on a certain CDMA chipset, which resides in over 70 million cellphones spread over 75 different manufacturers (and that was a year ago). Guess who's making this chipset? That's right: QualComm. Sniff... I smell monopoly...

The technology also seems to be inferior to what Amiga are doing (programs are interpreted in runtime, not at load time, thus giving performance losses, environment isn't selfhosted).
So in short: QualComm's solution looks limited both technologically and the way they want to use it.
The solutions provided by the companies previously mentioned won't neither charge developers nor users. I couldn't find much information about their solutions, as only their names were mentioned, not what exactly they were working on.

The point is: Amiga's system has the best technology and Amiga have the best relationship with developers and users, but only they may want to use them. Despite all the efforts at Amiga, everyone else look the other way and can't take Amiga seriously, now that the big players with the big bucks have spoken. This is already apparent in the cell-phone area. Will the situation spread to PDA's, palmtops and appliances? Amiga would then continue to loose customers.
This mirrors the situation we had 10 years ago, where Amiga was slowly sinking into market oblivion, thanks to greedy companies with inferior technologies. I definitely hope that Amiga Inc. will yell out loud enough this time, or the end users will never hear them.

Also this should show those, who think charging 99$ for an SDK is outragous, that there are companies out there who would happily charge your mother and brother-in-law for every interaction you do as a developer with that company. And those are companies that aren't exactly short on money, like Amiga are now. So I think 99$ is very reasonable.

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Comment 1Anonymous31-Jan-2001 23:00 GMT
Comment 2Wan31-Jan-2001 23:00 GMT
Companies are copying Amiga's and TAO Group's ideas : Comment 3 of 13ANN.lu
Posted by Troels Ersking on 31-Jan-2001 23:00 GMT
Nice article but a bit frightning.
As I see it our (AmigaDE's) future depends on how fast Amiga can develope AmigaDE and get some hardware manufacturers to buy and use it.
The hardware manufactures Amiga have presented so far is probably really nice people and so... but they are small small companies which won't be enough for us to establish a new AmigaDE userbase.
Amiga need support from a Sony, Ericsson, Sega or Nokia sized company to really get back in focus.
I had hoped for an agreement with Sega or Sony but it doesn't seem like any of the bigger companies will use AmigaDE, atleast not with their own knowledge.
Even though it might not be very vise to do something Sony wouldn't like, I see it as an option to make an native AmigaDE version for ps2 available for free DL.
If Amiga could do so without signing the Sony licensing contract they wouldn't have to pay a royalty to Sony.
It is NOT (as someone have stated) illegal to make an operaitng system that works with ps2 but I don't think we should expect any help from Sony making it:0)
And if AmigaDE was available for ps2, developers wouldn't need the expensive PS2 devkit. What could Sony do about it? AmigaDE developers would not develope for PS2 but instead develope for a multiplatform OS.
It is legal to sell and market software as "works with ps2 (or DC, win95, linux..)" without paying royalty to Sony, but only because the software is not made specificly for ps2 or with the ps2 devkit.
What do you think Amiga should do -focus on the stb market for a start and then later on try the desktop market as they do now?
#4 Henrik Mikael Kristensen #11 Torsten
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List of all comments to this article (continued)
Comment 4Henrik Mikael Kristensen01-Feb-2001 23:00 GMT
Comment 5Gil Knutson02-Feb-2001 23:00 GMT
Comment 6Hagge02-Feb-2001 23:00 GMT
Comment 7Matt Sealey02-Feb-2001 23:00 GMT
Comment 8Alex Klauke02-Feb-2001 23:00 GMT
Comment 9szutoman02-Feb-2001 23:00 GMT
Comment 10Casey R Williams02-Feb-2001 23:00 GMT
Comment 11Torsten02-Feb-2001 23:00 GMT
Comment 12Colin Wilson03-Feb-2001 23:00 GMT
Comment 13Troels Ersking03-Feb-2001 23:00 GMT
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