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Christoph Gutjahr (ANF)

Eyetech Statement on AmigaOne/OS4
On the AmigaOne mailing list Alan Redhouse responds to requests regarding the AmigaOne / OS4.0 development status and to reclamations regarding the long period of time without any new announcement.

>>The Eyetech timeline hasn't been updated for over a quarter (northern hemisphere tm.) ;) and as I see it, we are, in a way, partners with Eyetech and Amiga Inc. and so it would be courteous and helpful if they could give us some kind of update on the situation. Delays if necessary are fine (well, y'know what I mean) and I certainly don't want to add to the pressures that Alan and Eyetech etc are already under, but I think it would be reasonable to break the silence.

>Would giving you / anyone on this list / me more information affect how many units they ship? Businesses aren't courteous because they're, well, because they're businesses I guess.

It is about business, not about a lack of courteousness and, particularly, the A1 project is not a reality TV show or soap opera.

This is a complex, specialist project that no large (sane?) company would undertake for a small and diminishing market. The end result has to be affordable, despite the small production runs so the whole development has to be done under very tight cost control.

Of course in any complex project there are snags and solutions, holdups and breakthroughs almost daily, many of which are outside our and our partners control. However it is our collective jobs to sort them out professionally and not to conduct our daily business lives as if we were on Big Brother, Loft Story (or whatever its called in your country).

This is also made more difficult by us trying to be as open as possible within the bounds of NDA's and the propensity of mailing lists to rumourmonger. We have deliberately kept this list open, but the commercial downside is that Bill Hoggett misses no opportunity to promote Amithlon and knock the whole PPC concept, Paul Qureshi doesn't love Eyetech (for some reason that I'm unclear about) and thinks Elbox's rumoured solution is best. And we know Ralph Schmidt is in the list representing the interests of bplan who are also intending to compete for the contents of Amigan's wallets. All that means that we have to be even more aware of the misinterpretation of any information that we put out.

Its also common and public knowledge (ie Bill said it in his St Louis speech) that Amiga Inc are having difficulty raising their second round of finance since the tech meltdown earlier this year. This has inevitably had an effect on the level of resources that they have been able to put into the A1/OS4.x project, and there has therefore had to be a reallocation of financial and operational responsibilities within it across the other partners. This all takes time (and money) to sort out and so, yes there have been some delays. And it is obviously important to treat all the A1/OS4.0 work as a single project because it is clearly not feasible to sell the hardware in advance of the OS being ready - all you get then is a very expensive but not very functional paperweight.

However OS4.0 is now well under way and looks like it will make a November release, but maybe not the 1st.

So why has there been silence?

- Everyone wants certainty in announcements, either to plan and be reassured, or to snipe and start rumours. There is no point in making announcements while negotiations are still proceeding and therefore some aspects of the outcome are still uncertain.

- Amiga Inc has been on the verge (and still is) of obtaining a substantial funding package for the past few months, which would clearly change the resources available for the project substantially. We have all been hoping to make a joint news announcement incorporating this and its effect on the A1/OS4.x project.

- There are many individuals providing input to the project and they all need to be consulted prior to making substantive announcements. In fact I'm probably breaking my own code of conduct in this respect by posting this note.

Ok thats not a lot, but its all this list is getting from me today. I hope it helps.


PS Several people have commented that they think we have a monopoly supply position with the A1 board. Well we do have the only PPC product that will run OS4.0 (although we are pressing for OS4.0 to be released for the Cyberstorm PPC as well), but that is because OS4.0 needs an existing Classic Amiga chipset to run. In theory there would be nothing to stop someone (eg bplan) designing a pci card with the classic chipset on and using it as the basis of the classic compatibility on a CHRP-compatible board. But the economics of doing this just don't add up, particularly when A1200's are readily and cheaply available (the type - PAL or NTSC - doesn't matter) and there would be a significant amount of additional work in porting/testing OS4.0 to work on this new card. Given the small market size there is really only scope for one A1-type product. If someone else had been mad enough to decide to build one we would almost certainly have decided to drop out - so there would still have been only a single product to choose from.

[News message: 01. Oct. 2001, 14:20] [Comments: 1 - 03. Oct. 2001, 02:07]
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