Over the past week Amiga users have been discussing and debating the news that has filtered out from the St. Louis show. There have been sometimes heated debates and even some Amiga journalists have jumped to conclusions about the significance of what came out. The real problem, which has led to such tense emotions from Amiga users stems from the fact that was said and what was announced, never truly reached the news sites in a precise and clear way. In part it is Amiga Inc's fault for not ensuring that their announcements reached eager Amiga users waiting around the world through the main centres for Amiga news. In part it is also the fault of Amiga Journalists like myself as clearly relationships need to be built with Amiga Inc to ensure that the news posted is accurate.
It seems that there is virtually no primary source material, in other words what Amiga President, Bill McEwen said and what others might have said, is not available. This is extremely disappointing, as this would have made my job so much easier. The source material from those people at show has to be treated carefully, for example Corinna Cohn's rather cynical report. The secondary source material comes from those people who didn't attend but have come up with their own interpretation of events. This type of material is a poor source of information and it has also proven to be the most controversial stoking up emotions. It seems that the only evidence that can be considered comes from the interviews held during and after the show with Bill McEwen, and from Fleecy Moss and Gary Peake's clarifications, which have been posted following the show.
What was announced at St. Louis?
“AmigaOS is now a key part of our strategy, now that we have decided it will form the basis for our home server, whereas before it was independent from our DE strategy, so this is what makes it so important” (Fleecy Moss).
“Amiga Inc will bring management and control of the AmigaOS back inhouse. Haage and Partner have done a great job with OS3.5 and OS3.9, and will continue to work, with other contractors to help develop OS4 as we move it forwards, but as owner, Amiga Inc will now set the direction and agenda for our entire product set” (Fleecy Moss).
“Amiga will offer as the home server solution, a product that is a newly revitalised and expanded AmigaOS, with the AmigaDE tightly integrated into it. Users can thus continue to use the best of the AmigaOS, can work within the AmigaDE, or can work in both of them, transparently using the other as the user environment becomes one. Developers can now stay with the AmigaOS and develop for the AmigaDE on one machine, getting the best of both worlds” (Fleecy Moss).
“It means that the OS that will run on the AmigaOne is AmigaOS4, a PPC OS that takes full advantage of the new hardware, and that will come, (in OS4.2) with a fully integrated AmigaDE layer. With the clever design of the Eyetech AmigaOne, getting access to the classic Amiga (think of the classic as just another hardware card attached to the AmigaOne), there should be full compatibility for older apps whilst getting the full benefit of the new AmigaOS4 (no more crippled emulators or context switching solutions) and the AmigaDE (binary portability, a massive content pool for both developers and users alike) and Java” (Fleecy Moss).
“AmigaOS4.0 will be launched in the summer, with 4.2 and 4.5 coming out at six month intervals. OS5 will be late next year” (Fleecy Moss).
“For PDA, Cellphone, STB, Console and Digital Appliance companies, they can run the AmigaDE native, or hosted on their devices, and have access to all of the AmigaDE content and device set. Familes and businesses can buy Amiga Digital Repositories that provides a single universal layer. Disenchanted Windows, Linux and Apple users and developers now have a new, modern, exciting product and Amigans get to keep maintain their march into the future on the platform that they chose” (Fleecy Moss).
Other Aspects that have since been Revealed
“Amiga has contracts with its developers, all the developers, for quality and efficient product. If any of our contractors fails to deliver, then they are responsible at severe penalty and cost for rectifying their part of the product” (Fleecy Moss).
“Assisting our team with a level of GL and video capability that will enhance game developers potential” (Gary Peake).
Tao Group is a great partner and is providing Amiga with opportunities we have never been able to land before. Good business means taking advantage of this opportunity they provide and we intend to do that with their help and assistance” (Gary Peake).
“We have over 2,000 developers currently involved with us. Another 30 added themselves today after the news from St Louis. My mailbox is so full I spent all day JUST answering new mails from developers and companies wanting to come to Amiga and play and I didn't get them all answered yet. Half of the developers are firmly in the PDA, cell phone, and set top box camp. The other half are either desktop oriented or want to do both. This gives everyone a place to utilize their talents and make money” (Gary Peake).
“Listen to the facts and ask questions in the Amiga forums where we are there to answer your questions truthfully. Don't listen to the naysayers, the hype, the conjecture, and the innuendo of people who have no clue. We will tell you the truth. Bad or good, you get the truth” (Gary Peake).
“People have buried the Amiga more times than squirrels bury acorns, and you know what, it keeps on growing back. Beware the naysayers, for they have their own agendas” (Fleecy Moss).