When Bill McEwen and his backers purchased Amiga Inc from Gateway in 2001 it was widely believed the community could not possibly survive another buyout. KMOS's purchase of the rights to Amiga's Operating System and then the buyout of Amiga Inc in July sent shockwaves throughout the Amiga community. Several questions have been raised by this latest buyout; in particular whether the community has survived this dramatic new twist.
The best way to measure whether the community has survived is to simply assess how interested Amiga users were in the buyout. A quick search on Google reveals that this buyout has been the topic of discussion on personal homepages such as David W. Ferguson's, user group sites, company websites like CAD Technologies and Technomages, and especially on Amiga News sites in countries such as Poland, Japan, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain (AmiSpaTra), UK (Amiga World), France (Amiga Impact) and Russia. It would appear that interest in who owns the Amiga platform has not waned, as the global Amiga community have regarded it as a hot topic of discussion.
Reaction from the community to the buyout has been mixed; it is clear that most people were admittedly stunned by the buyout. From most quarters there was a sense of relief as people felt that Amiga Inc, headed by Bill McEwen, had run out of resources and even goodwill. Paul from AmigaOne Productions welcomed the sale, stating on Amiga World, “There's one thing I read into this and that is that the Amiga OS should now be protected better against financial hardships”. The speech given by Garry Hare at the AmiWest show served to reassure users that the AmigaOS is a key part in their plans. He also appeared to reassure users that the desktop would not be abandoned for he was quick to point out that “the OS has to be able to migrate to desktops as well as mobiles, as developers don't use PDA's and mobiles to develop!”
However, in the minds of other users there are lingering doubts as to the direction KMOS Inc might take the platform. Talk from Garry Hare about the potential of the AmigaOS and DE in the telecommunications market has not gone down well with some sections of the community, who felt letdown by the previous owners as they also tried to crack that market. There is also some concern that as AmigaDE is part of their short-term plans it might receive funding over AmigaOS. Patrick Wesseling of Flypaper, in his most recent column made the comment, “should you really poke a dead horse with a stick and hoping it jumps up again? I rather see them invest in OS4 than AmigaDE”.
The Amiga community in general is still recovering from the buyout but at least this latest twist hasn't sent users to the nearest exit. Most people seem satisfied with the current situation for the new owners finances remove any worries that Amiga Inc's troubles would sink AmigaOS 4. However, there are lingering concerns that could lead to problems in the future especially if KMOS Inc does not develop lines of communication with the community.
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