Bob Kennedy writes:
I attended the A2K show, but did not stay for the banquet.
However, Mark Abraham did and
authorized me to send his report wherever I wanted. I had a
good time, bought a few things, met a lot of people I'd traded email with like Jens Schoenfeld from Individual Computers and the staff of AmigActive. Fun time, wish I could have stayed longer. Read Mark's show report below.
Essentially Bill reviewed what has been going on over
the past three months and apparently they have several
partnerships/agreements they will be announcing in
less than a week.
These include relationships with Sun, RedHat, Sony,
Motorola, JVC, DCE, Corel, ACT, Espial, H&P, Hyperion,
JVC, Amiga Development, Crystal Software, Digital
Images, Epic, Met@box, Titan, and others. A strong
point of these relationships, NO PC Money.
It seems that as well as focusing on the future, that
Bill is also trying to get the present back in order.
This includes getting distribution going again, new
products for the existing Amiga lines, and trying to
reduce cost to ease the pain on consumers.
It looks like they have an agreement on the Boxer, and
are going to help move it forward. It also sounds
like they are trying to insure that accelerator cards
become more available so people can use their existing
1200's, 4000's etc with the new OE. A PPC will be
needed to run the new OE.
They also gave an impressive demo on the TAO
technology running under Linux. The demo clearly
demonstrated the power or the TAO relationship and why
companies like SUN, RedHat and Corel are interested.
In Summary, TAO has found a way to make JAVA FAST! We
saw 4 simultaneous versions, of doom and quake,
running simultaneously under the TAO technology.
It would appear that the way the Amiga will move
forward is as an Environment running on top of other
platforms. The holy grail of this is that games and
applications will be easily ported to multiple
platforms via the environment. A BONG ball will
symbolize Amiga compatibility. Think in terms of
Phones, PDA's, PC's, and yes even new Amiga's.
It would appear that eventually we will get new
Amiga's. Bill demonstrated some cool concept designs
to us that were created by some of the
Animators/Artist at Disney. These focused on a new
Tower, Desktop, Server and Game Console designs. They
were different and had a very futuristic looking
design, with the servers being round and stackable.
An interesting point was that Disney donated these
designs for free in a show of support for their
favorite animation design platform.
If you look at the relationships that are being
created and their significance, essentially you have
JAVA nailed down with SUN's backing and TAO's twist on
performance and portability. You have Redhat as a
powerful distribution channel to deliver to users
world wide, you have Corel with Java based
applications which will undoubtedly benefit from the
TAO technology and give us new office/productivity
apps, and finally a series of Appliance manufactures
from Phones to Stereos to computers backing the
venture from a hardware perspective. These alliances
will also serve as powerful distribution channels for
the new Amiga Inc.
One pitfall to consider is that Java has promised
cross platform compatibility in the past and yet has
not been able to deliver it's promise. From the looks
of it though, TAO seems to have this addressed already
with several platforms.
I think another insight worth looking at quickly is
the relationships that Bill is building with the
people that work for him. He has fostered a spirit
that makes it fun to work at Amiga Inc, where ideas
and creativity are welcome and the people seem to
really enjoy working there.
I have already seen in the news rumors of release
dates on new machines and products and I want to
stress that no dates or promises of when were given by
Bill. Rumors are damaging to the Amiga community and
set an expectation that can't and won't be met. This
usually results in negative feelings and can seriously
damage a companies ability to deliver products.
Bill appears to have operations and strategies under
control. He has put together a tremendous vision, and
he has gained an amazing amount of support. All that
has been presented here in this report plus a lot
more, has been done in only 3 months. Bill said,
"let's see what the next three months bring", and I
think we ought to give Bill that chance without the
pressure and disruption that rumors cause.
In conclusion, if Bill follows through, the vision for
a new Amiga is very powerful, and apparently by his
lack of concern for funding, these companies are
backing him with more than words. He has vowed to
retain controlling interest in the new company. He
has vowed that he will not create a power hungry giant
like Microsoft ruling all aspects of the market that
surround the platforms and environment. Finally he
stressed the importance of non PC money in the
While the finish line remains to be seen, I think we
may actually have lift off! A little more time will
VP Amiga Users Group Kansas City