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Amiga is to charge $19.95 for its answer to the Java Virtual Machine, the Amiga DE Player, in a bid to win support for its Amiga DE multimedia application environment [surely 'in a bid to make any revenue, anyhow?' - Ed]

The Player will run under Windows and Linux and gives both platforms the ability to run content developed for Amiga DE.

Amiga DE is, of course, the new, software-only Amiga's attempt to create a platform-independent environment for home entertainment. It's based on Java technology from British developer Tao Systems and will be included in Sharp's upcoming Linux-based PDA.

Of course, the trouble with all this is that it's trying to do what Java failed to do, viz provide a universal platform for application delivery. Java has succeeded in becoming a major basis for object-oriented software development, but the idea that once every platform under the sun (no pun intended) had a JVM, no one would develop platform-specific code was never realised.

We'd time its death to around about the day when even Corel understood it wasn't going to happen and canned its WordPerfect Office for Java project.

If Sun couldn't make it happen with Java on the basis of allowing anyone to write JVMs and give them away for free, we can't help but think Amiga's plan to make people pay for this stuff has even less chance of success.

Doubly so when this allegedly advanced technology can only be used to knock up half a dozen puzzle games of the kind we haven't seen since we won an Atari Lynx in 1989.

Oh, and porting to just Windows and Linux isn't our idea of platform independence.

Amiga DE will ship for $19.95 next month, though early adopters can pre-order now for $14.95. The apps won't be free either. ®

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