'Amiga is Back and will change computing forever, again'

Who are we to argue?

Press releases on Saturday usually mean one thing: something to hide. This one, from Amiga Inc, is the exception.

Under the hubristic headline "Amiga is Back and will change computing forever, again", the company announces the release of the Amiga Software Developer’s Kit. Costing $99, the SDK represents the first prop in the Amiga OS design platform for "multi-media content for multiple devices and computing environments". It incorporates the intent Java Technology Edition from Tao.

Here's what Amiga has to say for itself:

"The Amiga OS is capable of being self-hosted, and sitting on top of other operating systems. A single application is capable of running on X86, Power PC, M.core, ARM, StrongArm, MIPs, SH3/4, and others. In a hosted environment the new Amiga runs on versions of Linux, Windows 95,98/NT, Windows CE, OS/9, QNX4, and others to be announced.

"The new OS also embraces the Java language in a new, powerful and compliant way. The intent Java Technology Edition from Tao, world renowned for its speed and compact execution of Java applications. With the new environment, developers will be able to take advantage of both Java, and portable assembler coding."

The Amiga platform was popular among multimedia production pioneers in the eighties and very early 90s. Amiga, the company, wants to recapture former glories, and now it is ready to "introduce the next level of computing". Will the punters listen?

Amiga has a diehard user base to call on, but it is difficult to see it reaching out too much further, especially in its new guise as a software tools company (in the press release announcing the SDK, it reaches out to Linux and Java developers, as well as Amiga hands).

There may still be plenty of brand equity in Amiga; however, Amiga, the business, has been mismanaged for almost as long as it existed, by a series of incompetent or unsympathetic owners. The new guys in charge, under Bill McEwen, president and CEO, can’t do worse and will surely do a hell of a lot better than their predecessors.

The Amiga SDK is available from Amiga.com, or through its approved dealer network. ®

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