The AmiWest Show seems to have been a success with Bill McEwen's speech at the event providing attendees with plenty of news about developments at Amiga Inc.
Bill McEwen admitted that Amiga Inc is about eighteen months behind schedule due to a number of reasons such as poor economic conditions and financial constraints. He expressed his own disappointment that the Sharp Zaurus deal did not work out, even though it had been signed, sealed, and delivered. Bill in particular, thanked users for their patience and praised the work of developers whose contribution has helped Amiga Inc to secure new partners and various deals.
Bill McEwen emphasized that the agreement reached with Microsoft has been an invaluable one. Through Microsoft they have gained access to 20 different OEM vendors, yielding some interesting results. Bill McEwen told the audience that Microsoft had distributed SD cards featuring the Entertainment Pack to hardware vendors and one company (Sprint) had even used Amiga content in an advert shown on TV in North America.
New Partners/ Deals
The Sendo deal was officially announced by Bill McEwen at the show outlining that this colour smart phone will come with Amiga Anywhere pre-loaded. He in fact brought a prototype to show to users who were able to play Planet Zed. This is not the only device to benefit from Amiga content as it was revealed that a Linux based PDA will be released soon with Amiga Anywhere pre-loaded. It is expected to be out by Christmas. It is also still possible that Amiga Anywhere will reach the Sharp Zaurus as Amiga Inc have been told that it will be out later this Summer on that platform.
Bill McEwen interestingly indicated to the audience that Amiga Inc are working with O2 (formerly British Telecom), with it possible that Amiga Anywhere could come with the xda. The xda combines the benefits of a GPRS mobile phone with the power of a PDA and also features a brilliant full-colour touch screen. An announcement is expected next month.
Amiga Inc has made serious gains as a consequence of their deals with a number of OEM vendors. The most significant is that Dixons, one the largest high street retailers in Europe will be carrying Amiga Entertainment Packs by Christmas. Arrangements have also been made with retailers in the US.
Amiga DE Software
Some interesting details were revealed regarding Amiga DE software as Bill McEwen later being interviewed at the Show indicated that 42 titles were at the Quality Assurance stage.
Bill McEwen commented on the recently created Amiga Club believing that those people who have signed up represent the first group to dive in with them. He emphasized that he would use the club to introduce some fun stuff. As a first step it was decided that one member of the Amiga Club would receive a free AmigaOne/ AmigaOS4. The winner is John Hindle of Lancs, England.
It has also been decided that the Amiga Community will be given the opportunity to design the free T-Shirts for those people who signed up with the Amiga Club. A contest will be run shortly.
Bill McEwen in summing up the events of the last year described as it hardest year he has ever had to face. However, he emphasized that they would “deliver a brand new operating system for the desktop, new content for handheld devices, create a future and to keep growing”. Bill also stated that, “Here before Christmas I'm sure we're going to see a lot of AmigaOne's under some Christmas trees”.