At the AmiWest show in Sacramento, Garry Hare made a surprise announcement in which he told show-goers during a banquet speech that KMOS had just acquired Amiga Inc. Amiga users were stunned by the news, which has sent shock waves throughout the Amiga community.
In March of this year Amiga Inc officially revealed that they had sold the Amiga Operating System, which had been passed into the hands of KMOS Inc. This US based company is involved in the development and distribution of enabling technology, software applications and specialty content to the wired and wireless communication market. According to Garry Hare, they acquired the AmigaOS as telecommunications companies, in Europe, the U.S. and increasingly Asia “simply can't meet their objectives with current OS suppliers”.
The purchase of Amiga Inc was unexpected as it had seemed that KMOS had purchased exactly what it needed from Amiga Inc in March. However, some Amiga users believed that Amiga Inc's DE technology might be better suited to the telecommunications market as it would allow users to play applications across all platforms and devices. In response Garry Hare pointed out in an Amiga World interview in late March, “I like Amiga's DE product and, particularly their distribution agreement with Microsoft and, I trust, others. But I am focused on the requirements of a specific customer. This solution does not require DE”. He also indicated that one of the features that attracted them to the Amiga OS in the first place is that, in his opinion, it is cross-platform.
There appears to have been two main reasons for the purchase of Amiga Inc and all of its assets. Garry Hare outlined that to build the Amiga brand they need control of it, which could only be guaranteed through the purchase of the company. In an earlier interview, he said, “the name is not as valuable as it used to be but it is a known brand and, unless I mess it up, could come back”. Another important attraction is the talented and capable developer community, which Garry Hare wants to rekindle as he believes many developers lie in a dormant state. To help achieve this objective, KMOS will move Amiga DE into the mobile market immediately and pay developers for their work.
The immediate impact of this buyout on Amiga Inc has become clear as it would seem that the company is to become a subsidiary of KMOS. According to Garry Hare some of the employees of Amiga Inc will be retained although it remains unknown exactly who will stay and what their new duties might involve. The Amiga Inc websites will remain in place through which they will communicate to Amiga users and developers. It should be noted by developers that KMOS have a contract with a web design company to create a new developer support site that will cater to the needs of DE and Amiga OS developers.
Next Week: What does the future hold for the Amiga platform?