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Amiga future founded on Internet appliances

New president looks beyond traditional PC markets

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Further hints of what Amiga, inc., the Gateway subsidiary formed when the direct PC vendor acquired the cult home computing platform, is up to emerged this week. Hidden away on a release announcing the appointment of former Gateway senior VP of product development and management, Jim Collas, as Amiga's president, is a statement that the company is preparing not only a low-cost home computer of the kind that made the Amiga name when it was part of Commodore but also an Internet appliance. Amiga has been known for some time to be readying a new line of hardware products which will debut before the end of this year. On the software front, the company is working in the next major release of AmigaOS, version 5.0. Last year, it licensed QNX Software's QNX real time OS onto which it's building the Amiga OS' multimedia technology. That version of the OS is clearly what's going to sit inside the appliance, though whether we're talking a consumer-oriented set-top box for Internet access or a Team Internet-style home/office access device cum server isn't clear. However, it doesn't stop there. "The Amiga platform is ideal for Internet-ready, consumer-oriented digital appliance of the future," said Collas, who added that the company will use the Amiga platform to "enable products from hand-held Internet appliances to high-end graphics computers." Incidentally, the disparate Amiga, inc. and Amiga International are to be integrated under a single corporate structure. Collas' comments tie in neatly with conclusions drawn by an IDC conference yesterday, which suggested that PC vendors will need to start looking beyond their traditional markets as they enter the next century and Internet access begins to expand beyond the computer. ®

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