AmiWest '98 Show Report Follow Up: The Bill McEwen Presentation

Thanks to Jeffrey D. Webster for taking such great notes and for taking the time to sit down and write this and other show reports. Jeffrey was nice enough to share this, his second Amiwest '98 show report with the Amiga Web Directory and its readers. -CUCUG Staff

Bill McEwen reveals the Amiga, Inc. plan from a marketing perspective.

Although my first AmiWest report was well received, I know it was lacking the most important information. What did Amiga, Inc. have to say? More specifically, what happened to Schindler, Havemose, and McEwen?

I'll start with Bill McEwen.

I apologize for not posting this earlier, but I had to review the video tapes so that I could hit upon the highlights so as to avoid a long and drawn out post.

Bill McEwen is definitely a professional in marketing. He understands the basic principles, and has a great deal of knowledge beyond those basics from experience. He knows things you simply cannot learn in school.

On Saturday evening, July 11th, at the Banquet speech, Bill McEwen elaborated on the Amiga, Inc. plans from the marketing perspective. He had a clear outline of the path they'd like to take. I will not cover the entire presentation, only the new items.

The news that we had all been waiting for was the revelation of the now infamous "MMC". I have no such news, because Mr. McEwen had no such news. He did, however, have the minimum acceptable specification for the "MMC".

First the market statistics that motivate decisions in Amiga Marketing:

Desktop OS Market
1997-19982000 (projected)
Windows 95/98 69.4 65.0
Windows NT 9.2 26.2
DOS / Windows 3.x 7.7 .3
MacOS 4.6 1.9
Linux 2.4 4.2
DOS (no Windows) 2.3 .3
UNIX 1.0 .5
OS/2 Warp .8 1.2
*Other 2.7 .5

  • Other includes BeOS and Amiga

    It is obvious that our target market cannot be the same target market as Microsoft's. And, according to Bill, the Amiga must do in 1999 what it did in 1985 -- it must hit the market with an attention getting *BANG* that makes folks think, "WOW! I have got to get me one of these!"

    The new Amiga must fall within these loose specification:

    Video & Sound

    Multimedia / RISC System


    The path that Amiga, Inc. would like to follow is:
    [ Taken directly from the presentation slides ]

    - Imagination is the only limitation for this platform
    [ This where the money is, and really what the vast majority of computer users want from their computers ]

    - Connected to people, entertainment & information
    [ Easy connection to internet. Complete integration ]

    Digital Media and Broadcast
    - Digitized Realism
    - Expression of the imagination

    Electronic Paradigm Shift - Digital appliances prolific
    - Consumer Electronics and Computers converging
    [ Other companies are trying this now, but all are going their own direction. Amiga can close this gap. ]

    Amiga Virtues:

    For new systems we need:

    [ Bill points out that these are the goals for the new system ]

    Custom API's made the Amiga small, fast and efficient

    I/O in Custom chips


    [ Although it sounds like a joke, the Amiga, despite it's lack of drivers is more truly plug and PLAY ]

    Dynamically configurable localization

    [ Bill commented that this is a very important issue to Dr. Havemose ]

    Other points of interest:

    McEwen stresses that the new Amiga has to stand out from the crowd. Pointing out that current PC options are intimidating, not easy to use, expensive, and are often obsolete shortly after their release. This causes a great burden on an already weary PC purchasing public. The goals they have set forth will lead to a personal computer where "personal" again has meaning.

    This has always been a strong point of the Amiga. McEwen mentions he's not from this camp [Amiga], but he sees a community. He stated in his presentation that, "Gateway didn't have this big plan for the Amiga. What they thought they had were patents and trademarks, they didn't know that all of you [the Amiga community] came with it." The room broke with laughter. Indeed, Gateway could not have expected such a resounding response from what was thought to be a dead platform.

    I believe they see us now, and not as a burden, but an asset. So, for those of you that have any doubts about their sincerity, give them a chance. Hear them out. I know you will be as surprised as I was by their dedication.

    All of the bulleted text above was taken from the slides during the presentation. Mr. McEwen promised the bulk of them will be posted on the Amiga, Inc. site.


    Now, on to the "issues" that seemed to infuriate so many in the Amiga community.

    What happened to Schindler? Did his wife give birth to a bouncing baby boy? Did Dr. Havemose deliver their child?

    Needless to say, these rumors were unfounded... and just plain silly. First, Dr. Havemose is not a medical doctor. Second, if Jeff's wife is pregnant, it's news to he and his wife.

    What happened to Dr. Havemose then?

    I'll answer that in one sentence: More contract negotiations required their further attention which distracted them from less pressing issues, like shows. I'd rather have them there working, than at a show playing.

    So, to clarify, Jeff Schindler and Allan Havemose were not able to attend AmiWest because they had Amiga business to attend to.


    Thank you for your attention.

    Transcriptions of the speech will be posted as they are completed.

    Jeffrey D. Webster
    Mirada Innovations / JDW Developments
    VP, Software Development / Marketing

    Amiga News Index - Amiga Web Directory

    Champaign-Urbana Computer Users Group /