Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 25th Jan 2010 23:21 UTC
Amiga & AROS It seems like only yesterday, but in fact it's already six months ago. July last year, we published our review of AmigaOS 4.1 running on ACube's sam440ep motherboard, and here we are, six months later, and Hyperion has released AmigaOS 4.1 Update 1. This free update brings with it quite a number of new features, and since I still have the sam440ep on my desk, I could test the new features first-hand.
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RE: Nice
by thavith_osn on Tue 26th Jan 2010 01:07 UTC in reply to "Nice"
thavith_osn
Member since:
2005-07-11

Great to hear about the new hardware. Looks like the Amiga is poised to once again become a serious contender in the alternative OS market!


I am an Amiga fan (not die hard like some people I know), which is why I've decided to comment here...

I don't think in it's current form the Amiga OS is going to become a serious contender as an alternative OS for a number of reasons...

Firstly, it runs on PPC, my hardware of choice a few years back, but sadly, those days are long gone. Very few people have PPC hardware (I have a G3 tower still), and even if they do, Amiga wont run on it. How are people going to run Amiga?

That's right, they have to go out and purchase specific h/w for it. We've seen this before with the Mac (still the case to a certain degree). People only bought Macs who only wanted a Mac back in the day (I was one), everyone else steered clear of them because you can't run Windows (as sad as that fact is). There is no fallback if Amiga OS doesn't do it for you. The main difference with the Mac is you can put Windows on there if OS X doesn't do it for you (or put Gnome or KDE over the top of OS X if Apple's windows management doesn't do it for you)... With the Amiga h/w, you are kinda stuck if Amiga doesn't do it for you. Even if you can put PPC Linux on there, the chips are so slow compared to new h/w for AMD or Intel.

What will happen here is all the die hard Amiga guys will buy the new h/w when it comes out (I know at least one guy that might), but those numbers aren't
serious contender in the alternative OS market!
numbers (again, sadly)...

Secondly, for the general public, there is nothing about the Amiga OS that stands out as must have. When the iPhone was release, if it looked like the OS's that Nokia or MS already had (even if it was better), no one would have heard about it other than the Mac guys. It would be lost at sea in a market already swamped by numerous OS's.

Amiga "currently" finds itself in such a market. It doesn't matter if your OS boots in 1 second and and task switch faster than any other OS out there. The fact is, Joe Citizen doesn't know or care. He needs to browse the internet and send emails, maybe the odd letter here or there, chatting, managing my music and photos and at times, creating a nice video or budgeting my home finances. The Amiga may do these things better, but that doesn't matter, Mac, Win and Lin can do them too.

What is interesting is Linux is free and runs on your current Intel h/w, yet after 20 years it still has 1% of the market, I think that puts it in the serious contender market, but only just. Apple (due to h/w restrictions) manages around 5%. How is Amiga in it's current form going to be a serious contender?

Again, don't get me wrong, I love the Amiga and hope to see it do well. I think it can become a serious contender, but not in the market it is currently positioning itself, and I hope it's only there for now to get the OS up and running.

In my personal opinion, the Amiga window manager looks a lot like OS 9 did for the Mac well over 10 years ago now. I think Apple is going to move a way from what OS X currently looks like to something a lot more like the iPhone UI. Amiga need to already be where the window managers are heading, not where they have been, do something dramatic, risky, fun... I think Amiga did well back in the day for a number of reasons, but one was they took a risk and built back then what was a great experience. They need to think like that again, don't build a UI for the nostalgic fans of old (let them run their emulators or old h/w), besides, you can never please them 100% anyway. Instead, innovate and show the world what an OS should be like if you want to be in this market.

Apple did it with the iPhone UI, that was nothing like what Nokia and everyone else was doing at the time, they will do it again with the tablet most likely.

I think Amiga OS would sit very nicely on Home Entertainment boxes for instance. It boots incredibly fast, stable and light. You could build less expensive h/w because the OS will make full use of what is already there. They could have saved a lot of time on the UI too, HE tends to have very light requirements.

The phone market is another area it would shine, a small light OS for a small light device.

Amiga could licence the OS to Nokia and others and push Android and Apple with a very nice OS of their own, without cannibalising the desktop or even Home Entertainment markets... Imagine a current model phone running Amiga underneath with a nice touch UI on top. It would run circles over the competition as far as speed goes...

I'm sure there are a lot of places Amiga can sit, but I honestly can't see it gaining much traction in the current OS market in it's current form (but I hope I am seriously wrong)...

Talk to anyone (not geeks) and they know of Apple. Talk to anyone and they may have heard of Linux, but most likely not (that has been my experience). Everyone knows Apple, and they have 5% of the OS market (not helped in part by the fact that most people know of Apple because of the iPod and iPhone)...

What Apple did though, was not fight in that market, not try and become a serious contender (Jobs even mentioned that the Desktop battle was over quite a while back). What Apple did do was create a new battle ground and fight there. MS is having a much harder time gaining ground in markets where Apple got there before them (I'm sure the iTablet will be similar, MS have tablet OS, but it's not really a tablet OS, just a slightly modified desktop one).

Even in the desktop market, Apple tries to differentiate itself, "we are not a boring business machine, we are a hub for your life", that kind of thing...

If Apple manages to win enough battles elsewhere, they may do a lot better against MS in the desktop market too, but the battle was never really fought there recently, only maintained.

I think Amiga need to do the same. I honestly want to eventually see a world where OS's from MS, Apple, Open Source community and Amiga have similar market share. It's good for everyone.

I've been watching Amiga for a while now, since around 2003 or 2004 (I owned a 500 back in the 90's too) and haven't seen too much in the way of anything. Lets hope this time they know what they're doing...

Maybe if the h/w for the Amiga was $100, that might help, I'd buy one, that's for sure :-)

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