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Infrastructure // PC & Servers
Commentary
1/7/2008
02:40 PM
David  DeJean
David DeJean
Commentary
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New Products From . . . Amiga?

LAS VEGAS -- At CES, scouting for new products, 0ne of the names you definitely don't expect to hear is Amiga. Surely that's ancient history, a footnote in the family tree of the PC. Yeah but don't say that around Bill McEwen. He's president of Amiga and he's announcing a new write-once-run-anywhere development platform, AmigaAnywhere 2. And even better -- or more bizarre - he says he's got new Amiga hardware coming, too.

LAS VEGAS -- At CES, scouting for new products, 0ne of the names you definitely don't expect to hear is Amiga. Surely that's ancient history, a footnote in the family tree of the PC. Yeah but don't say that around Bill McEwen. He's president of Amiga and he's announcing a new write-once-run-anywhere development platform, AmigaAnywhere 2. And even better -- or more bizarre - he says he's got new Amiga hardware coming, too.The history of Amiga is a rich one. The Amiga OS and its graphics capabilities were way ahead of their time. But then Microsoft came along. The PC market went to Wintel and Amiga was eventually sold to Gateway.

It wasn't a bad deal. Amiga had some important intellectual property, and was just one of several software companies Gateway scooped up, said McEwen during a meeting at a CES event Sunday night. That was when McEwen joined Amiga, in fact -- then Gateway changed direction. McEwen bought the rights to the Amiga name and IP and wound up running a PC company you probably thought was defunct.

The years since have been quiet ones. He brought out a first version of AmigaAnywhere, which lets developers write applications using Amiga's strong graphics tools and then run them on a variety of platforms. Today that includes Windows, Windows Mobile, Linux (both desktop and embedded. Soon, he said, those will be joined by Symbian, and support for the Macintosh is nearing the end of the pipeline. That list pretty well covers not only desktop computing, but mobile phones and devices as well.

And soon, it will include new Amiga hardware, according to McEwen. It will be Power PC-based, and run a new version of the Amiga operating system - "an OS that can do everything that Windows can do in 1.2MB," he said.

McEwen's struggles with the business side of developing of new versions of the Amiga OS are documented in a open letter addressed to the Amiga user community on the

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