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Old 11 November 2010, 20:27   #16
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Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: United States
Age: 34
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Originally Posted by antonvaltaz View Post
Warning: this post contains pointless speculation.

I've been thinking a bit about the death of the Amiga lately. I've seen a lot of people ask a lot of "what ifs" - what if Commodore marketed the A1000 better, what if the AGA chipset had been released earlier, what if they'd focused on their core Amiga business earlier.

But I'm wondering if the Amiga's death wasn't inevitable - even *before* the launch of the A1000.

Commodore were criticised for not properly deciding whether the Amiga was to be marketed as a 'home' computer or a professional 'business' computer. However, I don't think they ever had any long-term prospects in either sector. By 1985, IBM compatibles were already dominant in the business world (even if they were not yet a virtual monopoly). IBM's decision to use commodity parts, along with the emergence of compatible clone PCs like Compaq's, meant that they would *inevitably* become more affordable - even to home users - making the very concept of 'home computers' entirely redundant.

So my argument is that, for all the undoubted management and marketing incompetence at Commodore, there is literally nothing they could have done to save the Amiga from commercial oblivion. It never stood a chance.

I'm assuming you're talking about the American market? Because the American market is way different from the European market. And, of course, we have much more disposable income than you guys do.

Yes, Commodore was horribly incompetent when marketing the Amiga in the U.S., but what else could they do? Apple had already carved a niche for desktop/publishing purposes, and IBM had an extremely strong grip on users that just needed a computer for personal, business or high-end research uses. Where would the Amiga fit in in the U.S.?

Personal and Business use? Most PC's were basically just that, and you have to take in compatibility issues between PC's and Amiga's. Did the Amiga have an office suite that was fully compatible with IBM PC's?

Desktop, Animation and Studio use? Apple already took over that market, and if you needed much more powerful equipment designed for those purposes than Apple computers could handle, you would have to look at machines like SGI Workstations, CAD-designed computers, etc.

And what about video games? The 1980s were all about the NES, and maybe the Commodore 64 to a lesser extent. But by the 1990s, it was all about Nintendo, Sega and PC's equipped with VGA and Sound Blaster support. Again, this was in America.

As you said somewhere in this thread, the Amiga could do anything you wanted it to do, but it was not a master at any one specific thing. Yes, Americans can be very anal about what they want their computers to do. Really, in the end, we didn't have much choice when it came to looking for a computer. It was either IBM or Apple, and even if you've heard of an Amiga, you would have an extremely hard time finding good software that could run on your NTSC Amiga, because the programs were designed for PAL Amiga's.

What were us poor Yanks supposed to do?
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