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Amiga-Messe Speech by Manfred Schmitt
[Manfred Schmitt speaking at the Amiga-Messe during Computer '95 in Cologne
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Since we have many guests from outside of Germany here, this conference is
going to be held in English.
My name is Manfred Schmitt, I am founder and chairman of ESCOM AG. I would
like to welcome you to this software evening and also thank you very much
You surely all know ESCOM as one of the leading PC retailers in Europe. In
the past fiscal year 1994, we had a turnover of 1.85 billion Deutschmarks,
employed 2300 people and sold 410.000 PC's throughout Europe. With 450
outlets, we cover 9 european countries. Core markets are Germany, where we
run some 140 shops, and Great Britain. In the UK, we are the biggest
dedicated PC retailer with 200 shops by the end of the year.
But PC dealer is no longer the appropriate term that characterizes our
business. Our strategy is changing from a mere PC retailer into a
multimedia company. And on this path, the acquisition of the intellectual
property of Commodore and Amiga half a year ago was an important milestone.
You surely might confirm that Amiga is a leverage for the growing
multimedia market. And you might also ask me what the guys from ESCOM have
done in the past months with the Amiga and what they are going to do in the
Amiga Technologies has grown to a small but efficient multinational company
and now employs 40 people. The Amiga product range is back on the market
as announced and distributed in more than 20 countries.
This, Ladies and Gentlemen, is the result of the determination, motivation
and competence from the Amiga team, led by Petro Tyschtschenko and Stefan
Domeyer. The plans have been respected. Congratulations to all of them.
We all know, the Amiga is an amazing computer. It is even more than just a
computer. It is an institution with user groups, a community, fans and
even lovers. There are Amiga-fairs, Amiga-magazines, Amiga clubs, even
T-shirts and tea cups !
Usually, in the computer business, when the leading product disappears, the
market collapses immediately. The Amiga was gone for one and a half year
but the market, even if it shrunk a bit, was still there and remained
This is something that is quite remarkable. It shows the quality of the
Amiga-concept and the dedication of the user-base.
I think that some of our competitors are underestimating the power and
potential of what the name Amiga represents. We do not. We perfectly know
what we have and believe me, ladies and gentlemen, we are going to make
something out of it!
The Amiga is not only gifted by its user-community, it also has one of the
best developer bases. Public domain and shareware programs on the Amiga
are better and the quantity available is unmatched on other platforms.
The utility of such a developer community dedicated to the Amiga is
evident. It provides good software and very often, commercial products
emerge and expand the software-market. This is something essential and
therefore, developer support is one of our top-priorities. It will be
mainly available as on-line services via Web pages or FTP servers.
We intend to simplify as much as possible the certification procedures.
Please feel free to ask for information during the fair at our booth or
later this evening during the questions and answer session. The person to
contact is Mr Hohmann.
We also set up contacts with software-editing companies to make sure that
their development for Amiga products is resumed. New contacts to non-Amiga
editors are also on our todo list.
Since we started-up the Amiga operations, there have been several rumours
about our future plans. One of these rumours said that Amiga is just a
quick shot for the Christmas season and that the project would be dropped
Ladies and gentlemen, this is most certainly a dream of the competition!
Indeed, Amiga is not a short-term project, it is a strategic element in our
multimedia strategy as I mentionned before.
To give the Amiga the future it deserves, as a major platform for
Multimedia, video and 3D applications, it is necessary to upgrade its
present capacities. That's why we have decided to leave the Motorola 68000
range of processors and upgrade the system with the power PC processor next
year. The future machines will of course run with Amiga OS.
The choice of the Power PC was made for its speed, and also because it is
actually the only RISC processor that is currently used in personal
computers, which will insure us that needed quantities will be available at
attractive prices on a mass market.
Amiga OS is actually what makes the strength of the platform it runs on.
We are aware that we have an operating system that has real multitasking
from the beginning without the need of excessive amounts of memory like
other operating systems. This is the reason why we will concentrate on
improving and porting Amiga OS to other processors. It is the best way to
enlarge the installed base and to gain market shares over Windows and
The implementation of the Power PC processor will be a first step in that
direction. Later, this processor will replace the 68000 chips in the rest
of the Amiga product range. This is possible thanks to the range of
versions that Motorola provides, from the 602 up to the 604.
Multimedia does not only mean sound and Animation but also communication.
We will use the Amiga-technology to provide very cost effective on-line
solutions. These can be marketed as set-top boxes or as Amiga computers
equipped with the necessary hard- and software.
To be a player in the on-line market, one has also to provide
on-line-services like Web pages or FTP servers for the Internet. This has
already been done for Amiga, Commodore and ESCOM. Our customers can now
use the Internet to find information and support for the computer they are
The actual computer market is widely occupied by Intel and Microsoft
platforms. We think that this combination is not satisfying for all uses.
There is a strong market for the home computing below 1000 DM. For
Internet surfing, spending 2500 DM for a PC is not what I would call a home
oriented solution. These are definitely market segments where the Amiga
1200 can be more competitive.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I hope that this meeting will be a start-up for a
good co-operation between Amiga Technologies and software publishers.
Thank you for your attention.