Manfred Schmitt

Chairman of the Executive Board, Escom AG

Ladies and gentlemen,

Since we won the auction for the intellectual property of Commodore and Amiga, the ESCOM AG is flooded with congratulation messages. Amiga clubs and Amiga users write to ask us to revive and continue to develop and improve the Amiga. Many of them actually sent us their wishes for future hardware architectures and operating systems improvements.

However, it is still unclear for many users how a PC manufacturer and retailer will use the Amiga technology.

Here is our answer:

ESCOM now turns from a PC manufacturer and retailer into a multimedia company. The big multimedia applications will come very soon as Pay-TV, Video on demand, homebanking, home-shopping and online services. In this growing market, we want to become a leading provider of hardware, software and solutions. Our goal is to give the user a cost-efficient way to access all these new services the multimedia world will allow. The Amiga technology brings us all we need here in an elegant way. We see in the Amiga the key to Multimedia technologies for the future.

As an intelligent terminal, you all know the PC. Many people use the PC in conjunction with a modem to access online services and the worldwide Internet. Escom is providing that market with a wide palette of advantageoulsy priced Multimedia PCs in a range between 2000 and 3000 DM.

But there are other user profiles, who want to use the multimedia technology without having to spend several thousands of DM. For these users, the Amiga represents a very interesting alternative. It stands out with an amazing price/quality ratio. Also remarkable is the operating system with a still unmatched multitasking ability. That means that several applications can run simultaneously, depending on available memory without slowing down the whole system. This is achieved by the smart resource sharing of the system and the low consumption of RAM and processing power by the applications.

The Amiga operating system needs 8 times less memory than Windows, and it multitasks better than Windows. Through this smart use of system resources, the Amiga is still a very efficient and unexpensive computer.

Video is another strength of the Amiga. In this aspect, the Amiga is superior to the PC. The video output of the Amiga is already PAL and NTSC compatible, so it can just be plugged into a TV or any video monitor. A PC needs a converter to do this. The Amiga represents a possibility to give people access to interactive television, online services and pay TV with set top boxes at decent prices like 400 DM. The market is huge because there are much more televisions than computers in the homes.

The set top box is a concrete application involving Amiga technology that we want to improve. For the American market, which is much more advanced than in Europe in this regard, we already have license agreements with our partner VisCorp - our first licence by the way. We are willing to be very flexible and open-minded regarding licensing of our technology. Amiga developers and manufacturers shall have the chance to talk with us to define partnerships or license agreements. Together, we will develop a wide range of Amiga hardware and software. Our goal is a productive, open amiga technology. The example of Viscorp demonstrates it at best : we license Amiga technology to people who want to integrate it in their own products. The press already talked about another partner, the Tianjin Family-Used Multimedia Co. Ltd. They will build the lower range of Amiga computers and revive the legendary Commodore 64 for the chinese market.

Ladies and gentlemen, we have mainly talked about the Amiga. In New York, we also took over another well known brand : Commodore. All of you surely remember the good old Commodore 64 and its tremendous success in the early eighties. It is still a famous episode in the home computer history that could be compared to the Volkswagen Beetle. A recent study made by the german economic magazine DM reveals that the name Commodore still has very high recognition. 93 percent of all PC users know the trademark Commodore. such a reputation is only surpassed by IBM.

We will now separate Commodore and Amiga operations. Amiga will be the multimedia range with Motorola processors and Commodore for Intel based Personal Computers. We want to use all available and appropriate distribution channels both for Commodore and Amiga: specialized retail stores, warehouses, and mail order services. The ESCOM subsidiaries are only one of many possibilities.

Ladies and gentlemen, we are convinced that ESCOM, Commodore and Amiga will become a sucess story. Look at the structure and competencies we have built up in a short time.

Thank you.

Champaign-Urbana Computer Users Group /