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Amiga apps to run on MS PDAs, phones, web pads

And everybody else's too, but Redmond's paying for the paper here

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Amiga Inc's comebacks are clearly gathering momentum; just a few weeks after news broke of its return in a Nokia set-top box, the company has announced a potentially vastly more mega deal involving - uh oh - Microsoft.

"Announced" may be putting it a bit strong, as the release itself doesn't seem to be anywhere obvious on either amiga.com or microsoft.com at time of writing. Nor indeed does there seem to be much approaching content on the allegedly related amiga-anywhere.com (word to the wise - obscurity can become habit-forming). But actually, it's clear Amiga is finally getting somewhere again, and although the Microsoft announcement provides valuable publicity and could certainly fuel developer momentum, the real meat of the matter is Amiga Anywhere, with the MS deal being essentially a subset of that.

It is (it says here) "a revolutionary infrastructure for the production and distribution of digital content emphasising high performance, superb quality, and minimal resource consumption." The point of this is that it'll run on the various flavours of Windows CE/PocketPC, Symbian, Linux, whatever, and that by doing multimedia without consuming huge resources it'll be able to deliver multimedia apps for mobile platforms.

The Microsoft announcement, which you can find along with much jaundiced reference to Mordor here, cuts to the chase more excitingly, but essentially says the same thing. Amiga apps will run on Windows PDAs, smart phones, web-pads and set-top boxes. Naturally it misses out ***ux and <inaudible>.

The real big gig here is mobile multimedia, and although the industry is making optimistic noises about multimedia in general, they tend to brighten up considerably and wax considerably more confident when they narrow it down to games on mobile phones. This definitely plays, and it'll likely cost you a buck a pop - but more of that anon.

It is most certainly no accident that all of the major phone suppliers have now shown colour screen phones you'll be able to play arcade games on Real Soon Now, while at the same time Amiga is getting a chance at a second coming. Strangely enough, in Cannes The Register ran into an outfit that cut its teeth on the Sinclair Spectrum and that is now targetting the Nokia 7210, so there's a bit of it about.

The trick of course will be for Amiga to re-establish itself (in its much revised form) as a mass-market application development platform, and that's most certainly not going to be quite as easy as just making a joint announcement with Microsoft. but all the same, we look forward to next month's comeback announcement with eager anticipation. ®

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