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[Rant] The current situation..ANN.lu
Posted on 13-Feb-2003 14:17 GMT by AdmV99 comments
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What is the current overview. I am not sure I have all the information, but what is now clear is that all the current amiga projects have hit the rocks, and there is little sign of a long term improvement. Perhaps its just me. But maybe not. I'll just go over the various forces at work here for a moment:

Amiga, Hyperion, Eyetech

External forces:

MAI

External development team

Lawsuit

Customer pressures

Current status: After a difficult road on the hardware front, and now a failure of supply on the part of MAI, the hardware side is at a standstill. The operating system development we are told continues. Now a lawsuit threatens both of these teams with a drain upon already limited resources. How very self destructive.

Genesi, MorphOS

External forces:

MAI

Internal pressures

Internal testing of hardware changes

Customer pressures

OS development lagging behind release standard.

I would regard both of these camps now as the primary projects that occur in the amiga 'sphere'. Both are now badly hampered by a single source supplier, and a lack of parts. It seems that despite both camps making claims, the production aims were always tiny (and thus you have to question some parts of the projects, but back to that in a moment) and production must have been small not to hit shortages earlier.

This does highlight the huge hit both groups are taking in development costs. Whatever the basis of their refusal to work together on their hardware, and thus the reduced possibility of producing in volume, buying parts in volume, and forming strong relations with suppliers, the true folly and stupidity of the selfish interests at work in the amiga 'sphere' are clearly at the fore.

While neither party has enough weight with their supply partner (MAI) it is far more uncertain as to the future supply of chips to either project. The inability to talk to suppliers in terms of bulk unit purchase and volume is and will remain a 'turn off' to suppliers. There is no chance whatsoever of being a tier one style customer if the most units you purchase are in the tens or perhaps hundreds.

In addition, my understanding (and I may be totally wrong on this..) is that MAI are less than happy with what their customers have published and squabbled over. Having your faulty product outed by a supplier is a less than ideal way of keeping good relations. Even now as I type, in every area of the amiga 'sphere' MAI are being universally blamed. Yet, perhaps its not quite true that this is all MAI's fault.

If the original orders were weak or small, its not possible for MAI to do correct production. They may have to work on guaranteed orders or limited FAB production time, and other factors.

Further to this, the (MAI) chip/set has had problems. Now these problems are well documented. But again, having seperate small projects posting information that is broken, or bit part shows the weakness of having the smaller weaker hardware development teams and all the limits that entails.

One simple suggestion to the two projects would be to work together on ordering with MAI if nothing else. By placing the bigger order you guys might get MAI to actually start treating you properly. Even then your orders may not be big enough to bring you to a sensible level.

Now, that aside, both projects are now being hurt badly by several aspects. These vary from customer let-down. Project time line failures, and lack of delivery.

The hopes of many a user were based on an idea that finally after a long time, two groups (wether you prefer one group, or another, or if like me you have some interest in general) was based on a premise that both were built and aimed (at least thats a public perception) on an ideal of being big enough to get something done, both in the OS sense, and the hardware sense.

Sadly we again have ego success over logic. None of the participants was capable of such a project. Both OS teams have pretty vast projects, that are in truth more than they can complete, at least in the short time-frame suggested publicly at the start of the projects.

Both hardware teams had large projects and limited resources. To be fair, both teams have produced, but look at what they are now working under. Due to the limited sizes of their production runs, the supply is at a trickle for key components. Neither party has enough weight to work with the key supplier to make things happen, and both parties are suffering badly as all the development is now not getting return investment via sales.

Further, consumer confidence is being annihilated by a lack of trust, and failures to deliver that is hurting both parties very badly. What is certain is that a lack of willingness to work together has caused part of this. The other downside is that to a large degree, production costs are far higher on both sides when refusing to work together. Its commercial suicide. What is worse is that with relations all around, MAI are or at least seem to be in no hurry to assist, and these parties continued war amongst themselves there looks to be little sign that a long term answer to increased production, supply and reduced purchasing costs for the end customer will be found.

And my thinking here, is that as an untimate cost to this, is that this factor leaves all the OS development shattered upon the broken landscapes of the amiga wars from the past. With now real hardware base, there is no software base. Even if there were, what is even worse is that both parties have been so stupid in terms of collaboration, that even if you did get a hardware base, that base is split due to differences about the OS. Show me a company anywhere in the world that activly looks to cull its possible customer base by 50%.

*Only in the amiga 'sphere' is it likely people can be so stupid.*

Right about now, both parties are, or will soon enough come to reason that they have or are failing, or will fail longterm. One escapee MIGHT be the ex Visicorp and phase 5 inspired people/project with a set top box style project that is there real focus anyway (or so they make out.)

You could see long term after the whole thing breaks one party taking most of whats left of the IP and using it elsewhere. But the likelyhood of an amiga desktop system will never ever return based on the current projects progress, and its all down to people having too much ego, and a refusal to work together for the benefit of even themselves(not just the end customer) is reaping the whirlwind.

It remains inconceivable to me that OS development and costs will be supported without hardware options, and sales. Therefore, some things MUST occur or this will mean the end:

1. The hardware teams/companies begin to work co-operatively (at least in supply of some parts and working with a supplier).

2. OS development dovetails into a cross hardware end user satisfying conclusion, and thus opens each vendor up into a 50% prospective larger market.

3. Customer care and general information is both more forthcoming and has a higher level of honesty, and a lower level of deceit, lies, fud, claim and counter claim. Also a keener understanding that even despite the cloud cookoo land mentality that they can do things by themselves, the amiga 'sphere' is as are all spheres, a sim-biotic sphere.

4. Competition can be healthy if its end product is the market 'sphere' growth. Competition that is damaging or causes shrinkage or damage to the market sphere is self defeating long term. Co-operation between competitors is _NOT_ALWAYS_BAD.

5. Customers, and potential customers ideally need to impress upon these teams/projects, that they MUST work together. They must demand hardware and software that both works, and is built with a level of co-operation and compatability. No developer in their right mind is going to double every area of work to try and sell their products on TWO OS systems, and different disperate hardware, dongles, DRM and protection rackets.

6. Longer term production, supply and end customer satisfaction must be renewed.

I would urge any customer who is interested in any or several projects to make it clear to these teams and projects that certain criteria has to exist, for them to be acceptable.

Unless the customers are more savvy than in the past, the customer will be a loser, as well as these project teams. You will again see the days of money being handed over to suppliers and non delivery/companies going bust, and all that goes with it.

Lastly, as I have recently said 'Trust no one' at least until they show why they are worth you trust, money or concern.

Kind Regards

AdmV

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