AmigaOS 5 surfaces... sort of
Amiga launches AmigaAnywhere 2
CES AmigaOS 5 made a covert appearance at an event outside the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), turning up in the guise of a version of Space Invaders running on a Windows Mobile 6-based smartphone.
Amiga – the company – was ostensibly showing AmigaAnywhere 2, the new version of its virtual machine technology. But taking Amiga President Bill McEwen aside for a moment, we discovered that AmigaAnywhere 2 is AmigaOS 5.
“We had to call it that because of the Microsoft deal,” McEwen whispered. Amiga's had close-ish ties with Redmond since 2002 at least when it began pitching the original AmigaAnywhere for Windows CE.
Microsoft is publishing Invasion for WM6 but apparently it doesn't like the idea of telling the world that one of its operating systems is being – albeit temporarily - elbowed aside by another OS, but, according to McEwen, that's what's happening when Invaders runs. Fire up the app and Windows Mobile disappears, up pops the AmigaAnywhere logo and then the game loads.
Incidentally, Amiga itself has been for years been offering a version of Invasion for Pocket PC, which begs the question: is there really anything different with AmigaAnywhere 2?
For Amiga's part, AmigaAnywhere 2 is pitched as a “device-independent, single, ubiquitous Virtual Environment that functions across different operating systems and the internet”. Of course, it's been pursuing this approach for most of the past seven years, and it's hard to see what AmigaAnywhere does that Java doesn't. Or Flash – perhaps a better comparison given the Amiga focus on rich media.
The point for AmigaOS buffs is that AmigaAnywhere 2 effectively starts up a virtual machine, boots AmigaOS and runs the code on top of that. And that makes it perfectly possible for Amiga lovers to fire it up and run the familiar Amiga GUI instead of the game. Why they'd want to is anyone's guess, and Amiga wasn't demo'ing the OS working in this mode. Can AmigaOS catch up with the user experience and the functionality of modern operating systems? Some might argue that it shouldn't try, that it should instead revel in its simplicity and very small storage requirement.
AmigaAnywhere 2 currently runs under Windows proper, Windows Mobile, Linux for PCs and Linux for embedded systems. A Mac OS X version is on its way, McEwen said, but the company wants to get the Symbian version finished first.
McEwen wouldn't talk about timescales, and since the real deal here is to get the technology into phones, media players, sat navs and other gadgets, that's probably wise. Amiga's future, if it has one, lies within these kind of products, not personal computers. Perhaps AmigaAnywhere 2 is the product get it there. McEwen seems to think so, which is one reason he's here at CES: to persuade device makers to sign up.
Why should they do so now? If AmigaAnywhere 2 is using AmigaOS 5, it's presumably free of any further fall-out from the ongoing legal battle over the ownership of AmigaOS 4 and its predecessors. That may persuade them AmigaAnywhere 2 is 'safe' for them to implement.
Amiga OS4 in action.
Sadly not many people will get to use it.
Very true. "The Krays to market stick-on Talbot badges and claim that any car with one on is a genuine talbot" would be closer :-)
EyeAm condemns AmigaAnywhere2 as "Amiga OS"
Amiga having nothing to do with "personal computers"? Who are we kidding. That's where Amiga OS should be--it should not be focused on this. Amiga Inc. should be delivering Amiga OS on x86-64 architecture, with a 64-Bit-centric worldview (i.e., Desktops and Servers at its core!)
Many want Amiga OS to be revamped, updated, brought up to standards (like with SATA I & II, USB. 2/3, PCI-E support, etc.); and for it to be able to utilize regular PC motherboards.
The path for Amiga OS is just that--with all these tiny devices like PDAs, phones, and so forth, satelliting around the main PERSONAL COMPUTER.
I have to condemn Amiga until they announce they are putting the OS on x86-64 (and by that I mean a desktop/server OS utilizing CPUs from the likes of Intel and AMD). I want to see Amiga OS exactly where Microsoft Windows exists, utilizing exactly what Microsoft Windows and Apple utilizes, and providing an alternative to those very OSes--because this, I recognize, is what many, many, many people desire out of Amiga Inc. Not some follow-the-leader exercise.
I do not support their AmigaAnywhere 2 vision whatsoever. I condemn their lack of resolve in providing what the end-user (Amigans) really wants. I really wish they would get rid of Bill McEwen and do the right thing with the OS, and not ruin the good reputation and brand it had in the past.
They could easily partner with Commodore and pick up the "Commodore-Amiga" line of computers, providing a "Commodore-Amiga 5000", for example, which could be designed to take either PPC or x86-64 motherboards, and be made to support all the latest industry standards. Doesn't have to be Commodore as parent company, either, to do that.
They should write/release "Amiga Phoenix" (i.e., OS5) that can auto-sense the hardware, and install appropriate libraries (for PPC or x86-64), and that has full backward compatibility with all previous Amiga OSes and Amiga software (quite possible by rewriting Amiga's Exec kernel in the exokernel structure, separating resource management from resource protection). They could then have this 32-Bit AmigaAnywhere (or AmigaDE as it was once called) merged with the 32-Bit Amiga OS classic as a deployable module that both resides on the larger, better, more advanced 64-Bit OS...as well as hosted on Windows, Linux, MAC, and so on.