Commodore wannabe claims Amiga ‘fooled’ community

Iwin's new Amiga-based boxes use hardware emulation to bypass Amiga IP

Iwin -- the European software and hardware developer at the centre of a plan to buy and revive the Commodore brandname and return it to the Amiga market -- has followed up The Register's coverage of the move with a statement of its own. In a Deja.com forum posting, Iwin president Mark Steinbach confirmed the company, formed from the merger of Worksoft Austria and Branch Software in June this year, is in talks with Dutch PC vendor Tulip to buy the Commodore brandname. Steinbach also stated that "we understand the Amiga community was fooled by Amiga, inc. for a long time". That claim is somewhat at odds with his comment that Iwin is not here "to fight some battles with any kind of person or firm" and even "we would like to work closely together with Amiga, inc." Steinbach curiously failed to specify precisely how Amiga, inc. had "fooled" the community, which suggests this is merely an attempt to play to the community's ultra-conservatives in the gallery. Discussing Iwin's upcoming Amiga-based machines, Steinbach claimed the computers will not use any copyrighted Amiga patents or technologies -- instead they are based on a "new architecture". That led to speculation on some Amiga-oriented Web sites that Iwin's machines will simply be PowerPC-based boxes running Amiga emulation software. However, Iwin claims to have developed a kernel layer that allows AmigaOS 3.5 to run on their hardware, which will be available with 68060 or PowerPC processors. The company said it will bundle software called iDDK which hooks in the machines' USB, PCI, AGP and DVD functionality into the AmigaOS via the machine's own OS kernel. Actually, this isn't surprising since Iwin already offers a product called PowerSE, which is a kind of universal OS emulator, allowing a single platform to run applications from multiple operating systems for the benefit of access data created on other OSes. Of course, how well PowerSE runs other OSes' applications is another matter -- emulation never being as fast as the real thing -- so quite how fast these Commodore machines (assuming Iwin gets the name) will actually be remains to be seen. Iwin said its new machines will begin shipping early September. Given the company is due to begin talks with Tulip on 27 August, they are unlikely to ship, at least initially, as CBM boxes. ®

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