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Amiga developer in talks to buy Commodore name

CBM branding to sell Iwin's Amiga-based machines -- it hopes...

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European software and hardware developer Iwin Corporation has entered into negotiations with Dutch PC vendor Tulip to acquire the name and logo of the long-defunct Commodore. Iwin's interest in the Commodore brand stems from its long involvement with the Amiga. The company's line of servers and workstations are Amiga-based, and much of its software runs on the platform. Tulip bought Commodore in September 1997, primarily to acquire a well-known consumer computer brandname for its own push into that marketplace. Soon after it sold the Amiga name and platform to Gateway. Tulip released a series of Wintel PCs under the Commodore label, but the line never really achieved the levels of success of the machines that made Commodore's name in the first place. Iwin clearly wants to reunite the Commodore name with the Amiga, and certainly it has a greater affinity for the original Commodore than Tulip ever did. Of course, whether the Commodore brand still carries any weight is highly open to question -- it certainly doesn't appear to have helped Tulip much -- even if its re-allied to the Amiga platform. Iwin said it want to "bring back the glory days of Commodore as a brand name in the computer business with innovative and hi-tech products". Perhaps, but given that's what Amiga Inc. is trying to do with its own brandname and still provoking the ire of Amiga fanboys, Iwin may not have much luck. That said, it may simply be trying to win over precisely that part of the Amiga community that currently feels alienated by Amiga's latest moves -- most notably its decision to base future products on Linux -- that appeals to Iwin, which may have no desire to innovate at all but simply trot out a line of retro computers under the Commodore label to appeal to the more backward-looking user. And, indeed, what do we find on Iwin's Web site (described as "everything which is important for Commodore lovers" -- assuming there are any left these days) but its plans to release an Amiga-based version of the second-generation Commodore 64, plus a more standard Amiga box. Iwin will also offer its existing Iwin-branded Amigas under the Commodore logo, if it gets it. Given Tulip's 'success' with the Commodore brand, Iwin probably will get the name -- initial talks are due to take place on 27 August. Whether Iwin can make anything of the name, is another matter... ®

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