Gateway is about to bring about the rebirth of the Amiga brand by reintroducing it for a new range of information appliances and PCs.
The supplier surprised many observers on 31 March, 1997, by buying the remnants of the 14 year old Amiga technology, which was made by the now defunct Commodore Business Machines, but promised to revive it at the time.
Up until this point, however, there has been little information forthcoming for the intensely loyal user base, although Amiga, which will operate as a Gateway subsidiary, has been busy finding staff, including a number of senior Apple executives, for its official relaunch later this year.
But early last month, Jim Collas, Amiga's president, who joined the unit from the parent company, where he was senior vice president of global products, said that it would use Linux as the kernel for the new Amiga Operating Environment (AOE).
The news created such an uproar that 24 hours later, Collas had to issue a statement on the company's Web site to explain the new direction.
"The key driving objective of our plans is to come out with a truly revolutionary product that can drive the next computer revolution," he wrote, urging the faithful to be patient.
Since then the company's plans have crystalised around AOE, which will run on information appliances such as LCD tablets, Internet terminals, settop boxes, games machines and PCs. The operating system will also only run applications that are written in Java.
The Amiga Multimedia Convergence Computer (MCC), scheduled to ship in November, will have DVD, high performance three dimensional graphics, Ethernet based home networking, digital and traditional analogue video and audio, and universal serial bus (USB) ports for digital peripherals.
Although Amiga refused to disclose which chip it would use in the MCC, it said that it would choose one that was highly tuned for Linux and Java.
Although US market researchers are predicting hard times ahead for PC box makers, Amigans - as they are known - are generally welcoming the comeback.
Craig Thomson said on one online forum: "Commodore just didn't have enough faith in the system to keep it alive, but I think Gateway (which has obviously been around long enough to see the machine's full potential) will do us old Amiga users proud and put together a unique and special unit."
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