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[News] A2k show reportANN.lu
Posted on 04-Apr-2000 20:45 GMT by Christian Kemp7 comments
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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. Banquet Report

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 venture.

While the finish line remains to be seen, I think we may actually have lift off! A little more time will tell.

Mark Abraham
VP Amiga Users Group Kansas City

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