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Old 08 November 2010, 20:41   #6
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Join Date: May 2009
Location: Mirfield, West Yorkshire, UK
Age: 40
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Originally Posted by Npl View Post
I dont know why you bring up that "big-business" again, let the servers and accounting run on IBM-PC for all I care. That still leaves out tons of space for CAD, games/video/multimedia, DTP which Amiga was in a better position to tackle.
See I think you underestimate the importance of professional/business environments for widespread adoption, particularly amongst non-techies. Far more people must have been introduced to computers through their work than out of personal interest, and those machines for a long time now would have been an x86 PC, running a Microsoft operating system. In the '80s and through to the early/mid '90s, having such a machine at home would have been too expensive for most people and unnecessary (it wasn't expected of you). Hence home computers: affordable prices, and for people who are actually interested in computers.

I think you're right about the mid-90s (around the launch of Windows 95) being a tipping point, but unlike you perhaps I think that it was inevitable. I don't think it was actually *because of* Windows 95. Rather, by this point non-techies could start to see the point of having a computer in the home - for professional or general use - and by this time also prices were low enough that they could get one which 'worked' with the computer they used at work. So naturally they chose a Microsoft-based x86.

My (perhaps more contentious) point is that while this may not have been evident until the mid-90s, with the benefit of hindsight we can see that this process was already well underway - and probably irreversible - by 1985.

So it was suited well in realtime multimedia niches, and during its life it had good programs for practically any purpose (including DTP).
But that generally resulted in it being a bit of a 'jack-of-all-trades, master of none': great for us computer enthusiasts who enjoyed messing around with it, but for people who had specific (usually professional) requirements it fell short.

As far as I can see it never achieved the commercial dominance in any one area that Apple had in DTP etc (and, in the US I believe, school education). Perhaps Commodore could have been fully determined to pursue the professional video/multimedia route, but then it wouldn't have been a real 'home computer' (in the sense of covering all bases and being targeted at the amateur computer enthusiast) and not really an Amiga as we know it in spirit. The Macintosh certainly wasn't a home computer in that sense, and I think that is probably why it survived.

A complete, affordable Office Suite would've gone a long way on making Amiga viable for business and general users and having its unique strengths on top.
Would it though? OpenOffice / LibreOffice is 100% free, and runs on bog-standard Windows PCs, and yet a lot of people are still reluctant to use it. Why? Partly because they are used to Microsoft Office, partly because they want things to be 100% compatible - and you will still find differences of formatting etc. when transferring a file from one to the other.

It did happen and still does, servers did change from dominantly RISC platform to x86 end of the 90s, and alot did migrate between OS`s several times.
Fair point but I really was talking about desktop computers for end users (I probably wasn't very clear though).
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