Interview with Bill McEwen, CEO at Amiga Inc
Author: Vidar Langberget.
Posted : 2006-10-04 11:50:42.0
The saga of the Amiga continues.. Amiga Inc, thought to be dead after stopping all communication with the Amiga community, have reappeared. The long spell of silence was broken when they answered 25 questions from the readers at Amiga.org. In the answers, the CEO of Amiga Inc, Bill McEwen revealed some information that once again brought back some hope in the Amiga community.
Contrary to popular belief, they have been working to fullfil their vision from before 2000, of a "scalable, embeddable, multi-threaded, memory protected operating system or digital environment that would run from a cell phone to a server".
In the meantime, Hyperion Entertainment and their partners have been busy working on Amiga OS4, which has been in available in pre-release form since April 2004. The final release is held back by the lack of suitable PPC motherboards to run OS4 on, but this seems to be finally resolved, and a final release is expected this year.
If you haven't followed the Amiga in recent years, I suggest that you read these articles:
Arstechnica AmigaOs4 preview
Interview with Fleecy Moss, CTO at Amiga Inc
Amiga Inc answers 25 questions from the Amiga community at Amiga.org (September 2006)
The Amiga.org interview left a lot of questions unanswered, especially with regards to Amiga Inc's plans for OS5. So to get a clearer picture of where they are headed, I asked Bill McEwen to answer some questions:
1.) You recently reappeared in public for the first time in a long time, answering 25 questions from the Amiga community at Amiga.org. What prompted this reappearance?
BM>> It was time to let everyone know that we are still moving ahead, and that we are progressing with our plans. We had been quiet for far too long, and I went to the board and asked that we change that and get back to the community. The community is an important asset to Amiga, and it is time that they are treated that way.
2.) In your 25 questions at Amiga.Org you mentioned that
Amiga has been working on OS5 for almost 2 years. What is the planned release date for OS5?
BM>> We have a schedule, but at this time we are not going to put that information out there. I should also state that the name OS 5 is going to change. The product that we are going to ship is going to be much better than OSX from Apple, so OS 5 is not an accurate name or description of the product offering.
3.) How many people are working on OS5 at the moment?
BM>> There are 5 on the team at this time, and we will be adding another group in the next few weeks.
4.) Is Fleecy Moss still in charge for the development team
BM>> That is correct.
5.) During a recent IRC chat, The Frieden brothers said that
they were contacted by Amiga and asked if they were interested in developing the kernel for OS5. This implies that the kernel hasn't even been started. If the kernel work hasn't even started, the eventual release of OS5 seems very uncertain and far away, even if you've been working on it for 2 years. When do you expect to have the first beta release for developers ready?
BM>> I am surprised that the Frieden brothers would say that, but so be it. Portions of Five will be in the hands of developers soon. We are using a new development method and strategy that will allow us to get portions of the code in the hands of developers so that we can better determine our progress, and the features that they are looking for.