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Jim Collas: offener Brief/Update der wichtigsten Aktivitäten (Executive Update)
offener Brief an die Community
Update der wichtigsten Aktivitäten

Die Briefe sind in englisch, meist folgt aber ein paar Tage später eine deutsche Übersetzung:


19 May, 1999
Dear Amigans,

April was a very busy month for Amiga with much activity and good progress. I received over 1200 emails from people around the world, I met with key representatives of the Amiga community in Germany and the U.K, we added to our executive staff, we established relationships with key technology partners, and we finalized our 1999 product plans.

The amount of emails I received from the Amiga community has been overwhelming. Most of them were emails of support and encouragement while many others gave me suggestions and input on technology and products. These emails have been wonderful. They are uplifting, insightful, interesting, and fun to read. People in this community have a great personality. Many were short emails of encouragement but just as many went on for several pages listing insights, suggestions, and opinions. Thank you very much for your emails of support. They have been tremendously encouraging to the Amiga executive team and me. There were, of course, also some emails sent by Amigans who are frustrated by the situation. These emails were also valuable in giving me insight into the mistakes of the past so that I could avoid them as we press toward the future. Please keep the emails coming.

I apologize for not responding to all of the email sent to me. I have personally responded to over 600 emails but was unable to keep up with the volumes. I want to assure you that I read every email sent to me and that they play an important role in defining our future plans. I will continue to respond to as many emails as possible on a personal basis. This brings me to the main subject of this month's letter: communication. It is important that we set up an effective process for communicating with the Amiga community. Emails and requests for meetings are overwhelming Amiga executives at this time. This volume of communication is very encouraging but I am concerned that we can't personally respond to every one of them and it will become frustrating to the community.

We are working on plans to improve communications between Amiga and the community. These plans will consist of multiple programs including: the current executive update, an email response team, a new Amiga Advisory Council, polls on future product features, better monthly user group communication, and improved communication to the Amiga press. Detailed information on all of these programs will be posted on our web site in the next several weeks. In addition to keeping the community up to date on Amiga activities, the main goal of these programs is to involve the community in setting future Amiga plans. All of us need to work on this together to make sure we are setting plans that will help the community and allow Amiga to drive the next computing revolution.

One of the planned communications programs is a new "Amiga Advisory Council" or AAC. The idea for this program came from my discussions with people in the Amiga community. It is difficult to get thousands of people involved in our planning process so we need to establish a more manageable forum. The plan is to set up an advisory council consisting of people that are viewed as leaders in the Amiga community. Members of this council will be "elected" by the Amiga community. We are currently working on the details of the "election" process. This council must represent all major constituencies of the Amiga community so that we can get a full set of concerns and inputs regarding future Amiga plans. We will set-up special message boards, email lists, and meetings allowing the AAC to communicate effectively. Information on AAC meetings and decisions will be communicated to the Amiga community. Keep watching our web site for updates on this program. We will also make sure information gets published to Amiga magazines and user groups.

In late April I traveled to Germany and the U.K. to meet with representatives and leaders of the Amiga community to discuss Amiga's future plans and get the community's help in setting these plans. I apologize to the people that did not have the opportunity to participate in these meetings but I had to keep the meetings to a manageable size. There were about 30 to 40 people in each country representing developers, dealers, distributors, user groups, and press. I think that these meetings were very informative and productive. They will allow me to optimize our future plans while taking the requirements of the Amiga community into account. To give you an example, we spent a considerable amount of time talking about how to bridge the community from the current Amiga platform to the next generation. The current Amiga platform has several years of useful life remaining but people are not investing in it because it is dated and the next generation is around the corner. One suggestion is to port the next generation AmigaSoftTM Operating Environment (OE) so that it runs on a current Amiga configured with a Power PC expansion card. This would not be an optimum configuration but it would extend the life of current PowerPC Amigas. We are looking into this possibility and will keep you updated.

On a personal note, I had a wonderful time in Germany and the U.K. The trip was both productive and very enjoyable. The trip was packed with excellent food and good people. I really enjoyed meeting with people from the Amiga community. After six years of working with executives in the PC industry, it is a breath of fresh air to work with people that have so much passion and enthusiasm about what they believe in. I especially enjoyed the extended conversations in the bars and pubs. These tended to get even more passionate and creative. To those of you who participated in the events, I thank you for making my trip both productive and enjoyable. In case you are curious, the most challenging part of my trip was sitting still while Petro drove me on the autobahn at 240 km/hour. I thank god for solid and stable German automobiles and good German beer.

Before I end this letter I would like to cover a few more topics that came up frequently in emails sent to me. First, I would like to clarify our hardware product plans. Amiga is planning to come out with a next generation multimedia computer in late Q4 of the year. This computer will have a unique architecture, a great operating system, awesome 3D gaming performance, and advanced multimedia features. I am confident that this computer will meet your expectations for a great next generation Amiga. Unfortunately, we can't disclose details of the new computer yet since we are under non-disclosure agreements with our technology partners. We also need to be careful about alerting our competition to our plans. One thing I can say is that the technology partners we are working with are extremely excited about our direction and technology. There are Amigans in all major technology companies and they are eager to support us in driving a new computer revolution. These partners include some major technology and component companies in the computer industry. We should be ready to disclose more at the World of Amiga and AmiWest shows in July.

The new Amiga multimedia computer will also support a home networked "information appliance" environment that will allow networked devices throughout the house access to the power and features of this computer. I need to clarify the term "information appliances" which is becoming a popular term in the computer industry. "Information appliances" are not digital toasters, refrigerators, and ovens with LCD displays. They are devices such as wireless LCD tablets, Internet terminals, game machines, and digital set-top boxes. These devices will all be connected together through a single network and will be integrated into a single comprehensive operating environment. This is the reason why we use the term "operating environment", or OE, to describe our new software rather than operating system. Our software is much more than the underlying operating system.

In addition to the full multimedia computer described above, Amiga will also develop reference desigs for a variety of "information appliance" companion devices such as wireless LCD tablets. Our goal is to enable a full home computing environment rather than just a computer. We will encourage others to develop and ship Amiga-compatible computers and information appliances. To help clarify our plans to the Amiga community, we are releasing our initial product concept to the Amiga press to publish in the next issues. I hope this helps clarify our product plans. We will continue to disclose details as they become available and as is appropriate.

The second topic that I would like to cover is Amiga support for developers. The Amiga development community is important to us and we will be taking an active role in support Amiga developers. We are evaluating plans for financial support as well as in-depth technical support. We will communicate more about this plan within 60 to 90 days when we also start releasing more technical information for developers.

I have also updated the "major activities" sub-section under the "executive update" section on our web site. This will give you some more detail on the status of Amiga programs so I encourage you to read it. We have also added a top 10 questions web page to the "executive update" section. This page will answer the top questions asked in emails sent to me.

In closing I would like to say that I am more excited then ever about the opportunities for Amiga and the Amiga community. It has been a long wait but the Amiga community is still the greatest community in the computer industry and the time is ideal for a new revolutionary architecture and platform. I will keep you posted on our progress and promise to disclose as more details as soon as possible and appropriate.

Jim Collas
President, Amiga

Amiga Hires Computer Industry Veteran as CTO

Amiga has hired computer industry veteran Dr. Rick LeFaivre as its chief technology officer and senior vice president of advanced technology. Prior to joining Amiga, Dr. LeFaivre served as senior vice president of R&D and chief technology officer at Inprise Corporation, formed from the merger of Borland International and Visigenic Software. He has held key executive management positions in the computer industry including vice president of the Advanced Technology Group at Apple Computer, vice president of engineering for the Network Systems Division at Silicon Graphics Computer Systems, and director of Windows and Graphics Systems at Sun Microsystems. Jim Collas, president of Amiga stated that "Rick is an incredibly valuable addition to the Amiga team. He brings with him a wealth of technology experience and industry contacts." Jim went on to state that "hiring top level talent like Rick should be a clear indication to the Amiga community that we are dedicated to the development of exciting technology for the new Amiga platform."

Amiga Hires Experienced Senior Executive As COO

Amiga has hired senior executive Tom Schmidt as its Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. Prior to joining Amiga, Mr. Schmidt served as Vice President and General Manager of a strategic business enterprise within AlliedSignal, an advanced technology and manufacturing company based in Morristown, NJ. Previous to AlliedSignal, Mr. Schmidt worked at Baxter Healthcare Corporation in several key operating and sales and marketing roles. He also served as a Senior Project Manager and Strategic Management Consultant at Arthur Andersen. Jim Collas, president of Amiga, stated that " at Amiga, we are serious about building a substantial company for the future and Tom has the experience and general management capabilities required to build and manage a world-class corporate structure." Jim went on to state that "Amiga is being positioned for a major come back and we must be prepared to manage the growth associated with these plans. Tom is the ideal person for this job."


  • We are looking in San Diego to move out of the Gateway building into a separate Amiga building in order to accommodate the expansion in Amiga's San Diego staff.
New Staff:
  • We hired Dr. Rick LeFaivre as our Chief Technology Officer (CTO) and Sr. VP of advanced technology. Dr. LeFaivre is a senior technology executive who has worked for Apple, Silicon Graphics, Sun, and Inprise. See the associated Amiga website news release for more information.
  • We hired Tom Schmidt as our Chief Operating Officer (COO). Tom Schmidt is an experienced senior executive from Allied Signal, which is a $30 billion corporation. See the associated Amiga website news release for more information.
  • Several weeks ago, we placed Amiga employment ads in major newspapers and have a significant amount of highly qualified leads that we are reviewing.
  • We have hired a full time recruiter to coordinate our expanded recruiting efforts.
Major Development Programs:
  • O/S 3.5 - This product is being developed by Haage & Partner under contract from Amiga. The target release date is late July or early August. We are talking to Amiga hardware development companies to qualify hardware products targeted at the O/S 3.5 release. We plan to come out with a recommended hardware configuration and list of qualified Amiga hardware products for the O/S 3.5 release.
  • AmigaSoftTM Operating Environment (OE) - We are developing our next generation operating environment including operating system, user interface, and some revolutionary software structures to be disclosed at a later date. Target beta version is 3Q99 with final in late 4Q99. We are also looking at the possibility of porting this new AmigaSoftTM OE to the O/S 3.5 recommended hardware configurations. If we can accomplish this it will allow people to run the new OE on specific Amiga configurations with PowerPC boards.
  • Next generation hardware architecture - Being developed as a foundation for all next generation Amiga products. We are within several weeks of final component selection.
  • AmigaSoftTM development system - This is planned in 3Q99 along with the beta release of the new AmigaSoftTM Operating Environment.
  • Initial next generation computer - We are developing the next generation computer that will be used to launch the next generation systems architecture and operating environment. Target release date is late 4Q99. Please see this week's letter to the community for more information.
  • We have released concept drawings of the next generation Amiga products to the Amiga press.
Shows and Community Activities:
  • I visited Germany and the U.K. and met with representatives of the Amiga community. We held meetings with leaders of the Amiga community and discussed future Amiga plans.
  • We will sponsor and participate in the 1999 London World of Amiga show in late July.
  • We are also planning to support the AmiWest show in late July.
  • We are planning for the Cologne and Las Vegas shows in November.
  • Petro and Jim Von Holle are developing reseller, distributor, and magazine support programs to help the Amiga community.
  • We are also working on some user group support programs and improved communication programs.

[Meldung: 19. Mai. 1999, 08:00] [Kommentare: 0]
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