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Convergence International                                     Press Release
11th November 1996                                                 CIPR-001

            New user group, Convergence International, is formed

A new user group for users of non-Wintel computers, has been recently
created.  Convergence International was formed with the intention of
bringing together the non-Wintel community to present a unified front to
face the Wintel threat, as well as looking to the future and supporting the
emerging Network Computer and Set Top Box technologies.

  Convergence International's main aims are to:

(a) Support users of non-Wintel computers
    By providing extensive technical information, advice on software and
    hardware, and helping new users, Convergence International will offer
    support for new and existing users of non-Wintel computers (including
    Acorn, Amiga, Apple, and PowerPC, please see below for a full list).

(b) Promote intercompatibility
    Convergence International aims to bring the minor computer companies
    together to fight the powerful market share of IBM compatibles,
    something which no small company can hope to take on alone.
    As part of this working together we believe these platforms need to
    be intercompatible, handling files from the other supported platforms,
    as well as recognising all major international standards. To help this
    cause Convergence International has a sub division, the Convergence
    International Development Group (CIDG), which will work on producing
    programmes simultaneously for supported platforms, as well as file
    format convertors, development tools, and other useful utilities.

(c) Highlight the strengths and successes of non-Wintel technology
    By providing information on supported platforms, Convergence
    International will create a reference for people looking to purchase
    a computer. We intend to produce a library of system set ups, detailing
    required hardware, software, and add ons, to perform a wide variety of
    tasks. Demonstrating to purchasers that non-Wintel technology can
    accomplish the end results they desire, often more efficiently and
    easily, will encourage users to switch from Wintel. After all, the
    majority of people are not interested in the type of computer they use
    as long as it does the job they bought it for.

Convergence International invites users of supported platforms, and people
interested in associated technology, to join the group.  Membership is
totally free, people interested in joining should simply e-mail with their
details, or use the form provided on our web site.

Members have opportunity to participate in various projects to help
Convergence International to fulfil its aims, but, of course, a member can
do as little or as much as they want.  Convergence International also
welcomes corporate members, sponsors, or funding of any kind.

Convergence International supports the following platforms: Acorn, Amiga,
Apple, ARM, BeBox, NCs, PIOS, PowerPC, Psion, STBs. 

To find out more about Convergence International, please see our web site
at http://www.parabbs.demon.co.uk/convergence/, or contact us using any of
the methods listed below.

Web     http://www.parabbs.demon.co.uk/convergence/
E-Mail  convergence@rocket.demon.co.uk
Address Convergence International
        49, St Gilberts Road
        Bourne
        Lincs
        PE10 9XD
        United Kingdom
        (Please include SASE for reply)
IRC     #Converge (EFnet), Sundays/Wednesdays (9pm GMT)

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

            Convergence International Frequently Asked Questions
                          Version 1.10, 10/11/96
               (Draft - please see web site for latest version)

Below is a list of questions we are frequently asked by those who are new
to Convergence International.  If you have any questions that are not asked
below, feel free to contact us at convergence@rocket.demon.co.uk.

Contents
--------
Why the name "Convergence"?
Why converge, then?
Why is Acorn always listed first?
How much does it cost to join Convergence?
What do I need to join Convergence?
What about your API I've heard mentioned?
Will Convergence work closely with the manufacturers of supported platforms?
I'm a dealer, why is Convergence of any interest to me?
I'm a manufacturer, what about me?
I'm a developer, what about me?
I'm a user, what about me?

Why the name "Convergence"?
---------------------------
Convergence symbolises the coming together of Acorn, Amiga, Apple, BeBox,
and other non-Wintel users, developers, manufacturers and dealers, under a
single banner.  Convergence hopes, that by uniting these groups of people,
and by helping each other, we will stabilise the non-Wintel market and
allow it to grow.

The name "Convergence" symbolises the coming together of the Acorn, Amiga,
Apple and BeBox operating systems under one hardware standard, the PowerPC
Platform.  The PowerPC Platform is a key part of Convergence's desktop
computer marketing strategy.

The name "Convergence" also symbolises the converging of household
appliances, namely the television, communications and cable industries
under the Set-Top-Box and Network Computer technologies of the future,
which will bring a new age of competition, in a brand new market.

Why converge, then?
-------------------
Convergence is necessary when you have a great force that is affecting many
smaller enemies.  In this case, the Wintel/Microsoft monopoly is having, in
our opinion, a pronounced effect on the rest of the computer industry that
is both damaging and unhealthy.  We must unite and stand together if we
hope to make the Wintel/Microsoft monopoly less pronounced, and their
competitors flourish.

Why is Acorn always listed first?
---------------------------------
This isn't intentional!  :) There was some debate in our early days what
order they should be listed in.  Eventually, we agreed alphabetically was
the best way, as then there is no bias.  Naturally, Acorn comes before
Amiga comes before Apple comes before Be, so Acorn, Amiga, Apple, Be is our
preferred order.

How much does it cost to join Convergence?
------------------------------------------
Nothing.  Convergence is a free to join user group.  Membership does not
commit you to anything, and how much is contributed is left up to the
individual members.

All we do ask (and this is by no means a requirement) is that you
contribute something to the group, by either joining in on one of regular
IRC conferences (channel #Converge on EFnet), participating in one of the
ongoing group user projects, help with development, or translate a portion
of our website into your language.

If you don't have enough time to contribute, then you can help simply by
displaying our banner (due soon) on your website with a link to our
website, or by advertising your membership to Convergence International
plus our webaddress on your E-Mail and News signatures.

What do I need to join Convergence?
-----------------------------------
Presently, you need an online connection via the Internet.  However,
support channels are being built up for BBSs (Support BBSs connected via
ConvergeNet network), plus recently renamed Convergence Report will be
distributed as widely as possible, and can be sent by post if you send a
disk and postage to us.  You can, of course, include submissions or work of
your own on this disk, to contribute to the group, and this would be highly
welcome.

What about your API I've heard mentioned?
-----------------------------------------
Presently, we are developing a multi-platform API system that will allow
developers to write their software and unleash it to a wide variety of
platforms simultaneously.  We are presently in negotiations with another
group to participate in the development of their own API, to avoid an
unhealthy split of two rival APIs.

The outcome of the negotiation will determine if we continue work on our
own version or co-operate with their own and share rights and
responsibilities equally between the two groups.  We will let you know the
outcome.

Will Convergence work closely with the manufacturers of supported platforms?
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Oh, yes.  We will monitor closely the activities of our supported
platforms, and do our best to help.  We hope to establish a healthy
dialogue and communications between Convergence and those manufacturers,
developers and dealers.

I'm a dealer, why is Convergence of any interest to me?
-------------------------------------------------------
Convergence understands that your profit margins for standard
IBM-compatible PCs are low and shrinking, and it's a cut-throat market.  We
realise you'd rather sell platforms with a higher margin, but are
frightened they won't sell and you shouldn't stock them.

Convergence is trying it's best to attract as much interest as possible to
these platforms, and to divert attention away from the more mainstream, low
margin, systems.

By supporting Convergence and seeing it is successful in it's aims, you are
helping to increase sales of non-Wintel computers, increasing your profit
margin and thus your profits.  Convergence will take care of the issues of
supporting the hardware and software, avoiding the users coming back to you
all the time and hogging down your support department (if you have one).

Please feel free to join Convergence, and display our banner on your
website.  Please help us help you!

All dealers who join are awarded the honorary Convergence Preferred Dealer
award.  We're working on a better name and logo right now.  We'll even
provide some support for you on the WWW if you don't have your own webspace
yet!

Of course, it's your job to keep up the support and respect the non-Wintel
platforms.  If we receive bad reports, you'll lose the award fairly
quickly.  If you work hard and keep up the support, you'll gain respect and
our support.

I'm a manufacturer, what about me?
----------------------------------
If you're a manufacturer, you already know how Convergence can be of help.
We are encouraging growth and competition in the industry, which will help
your product sell in higher volumes, rather than more common and mainstream
hardware and software.  This means increased sales and profits.

Again, please join and display our banner on your website.  We need you to
help us help you!

Convergence-joined manufacturers are Convergence Preferred Manufacturers
and get a free listing in our Manufacturers section (due soon).

I'm a developer, what about me?
-------------------------------
If you develop for one of the platforms for profit, you know your profit is
much lower than the mainstream alternatives.  You still do it, as you'll
know you'll enjoy it, and that those platforms deserve to succeed.

But your profit margins are shrinking.  You are faced with a dilemma now. 
You must switch.  Or do you?  With our multi-platform API, you will be able
to develop for all the non-Wintel machines simultanenously.  One
development group, one budget, multiple platforms.  This means a tremendous
boost in sales.

Now you have two options: earn a decent wage and still not support the
mainstream platform(s), or jump ship and help the monopoly which almost
crushed you before.

Help us help you, join and display our banner on your website, software
manuals, etc!  We'll make the rest easy.

And of course, you will be mentioned in our developers list as a
Convergence Preferred Developer!  We'll even take care of WWW support if
you don't have your own site yet.

I'm a user, what about me?
--------------------------
You are by far the most important of all categories!  You're the people,
the general public, who buy from those above.  You can make a tremendous
difference.  Keep supporting those who are supporting the non-Wintel
markets, YOUR markets.  They're helping you, so help them!

Unite together!  Stop attacking the Acorn, Amiga, Apple, Be - they're not
your enemies!  They're in as much trouble as your platform is.  Instead,
band together and help each other!  Remember who and what your mutual
threat is.  Support each other, support the non-Wintel platforms in MCIBTYC
(My Computer Is Better Than Your Computer) arguments, don't just boast your
own - support them all!

We must band together now and unite if we are to succeed.  Together we are
stronger and can do much more to avert the threat the Wintel monopoly is
posing to the computer market.  Analysts say it, the press say it, those
sueing Microsoft say it: the market needs competition in order to survive,
evolve and grow.

We need your help.  Please join us and help make it happen.  We're not in
this for money.  We're in this to help the users, developers, dealers and
manufacturers that depend on competition keep going.  We're thinking of the
workers, the employees, those whose lives may depend on the income from one
of the groups that are being cut back because of a fierce monopoly.

And if you are one of those we're helping.  If you work for one of those
developers, manufacturers (computers or peripherals), dealers or are a user
or business who depends on those developers, manufacturers and dealers,
them join with us and help us succeed!

Convergence International FAQ, Version 1.10, 10/11/96