By Kyle Webb, Assistant Editor, See staff list for e-mail address
As Assistant Editor and chief handler of correspondence for The Amiga Monitor, one of my duties includes processing such generous offers as occur from time to time for submission of articles gleaned from the Amiga Community at large. Often the contacts have specific ideas for an article they have in mind (as did the author of the e-mail from which follows a clip); at times, I am asked for my input as to what information gaps need to be addressed. The following clip is an inquiry regarding exactly that, although my answer is far and away not inclusive of what this publication's journalistic needs and hopes encompass. In addition, a few points need be clarified:
<<What do you think is more usefull for the Amigans needs?>>
"I think it might be interesting to monitor any possible surge in Amiga-related business interests in the wake of The Big Announcement by Amiga Inc. at World of Amiga in London, May 15. Rather like its polar opposite of Microsoft losing 1.8 billion dollars in a very short period of time as a result of the negative publicity surrounding their entanglement with the US Justice Department. Speaking of which, my home state, New York, is one of the states that also filed suit separately against Microsoft (I think 20 states have done so, so far) for the same essential reason; that is, unfair business practices possibly leading to a monopoly (i.e., antitrust rulings). The New York State Attorney General is a shrewd b*stard who WILL get what he wants. The reason I digressed into this area is because indications of trouble for Microsoft have begun to rot the base of their stockholders' faith (breaks my heart) so I assume this announcement regarding the future of Amiga would also have a ripple market effect."
Firstly: Dennis Vacco, New York Attorney General may or may not "get what he wants." But if my name was Bill Gates, and I had him looking up my business backside, I would know fear. Dennis Vacco took on "certain manufacturers" and "a retailer" to determine if they'd made clandestine agreements to coordinate their actions in violation of the antitrust laws. The settlement, meted out to consumers in the form of a $2.50 coupon (redeemable for "any purchase (except alcoholic beverages or tobacco products) at a supermarket or other retailer that sells grocery products in New York State", was not a huge amount of money for "certain manufacturers" (of which Proctor and Gamble is one); in fact, it was $4.2 million. BUT: it is a fresh victory, and Mr. Vacco smells blood.
Speaking of blood: correction number two: it wasn't Microsoft that lost 1.8 billion dollars in a week's time. It was the value of Bill Gates's holdings. In spite of the temptation to equate the two (Microsoft and Bill Gates) it can't be done; Bill Gates is, to all appearances, a human being. Microsoft is The Big Machine that assimilates human beings for breakfast. :)
ANYway, my point to the fellow to whom I addressed the e-mail:
Consumers' and businesses' perceptions alone, regardless of actual physical, tangible hard facts, have grand, sweeping effects on the fiscal health of any given venture. Microsoft obviously has suffered as a direct result of "bad news" that it can no longer slough off as insignificant, and the Justice Department is gaining ground. SO: in that respect, it will be MOST interesting to watch the developments, literally and figuratively, in the Amiga world, on the heels of The Big Announcement (for those of you who have been sleeping, please check the following URL's: http://www.amigainc.com/051598-woa.html and: http://www.cu-amiga.co.uk/news/bombshell.html). Will the events of the past few weeks bolster a sagging Amiga economy? I think so. The Amiga consumer (and Follower Of The Platform) has kept alive what by all rights should have evaporated years ago, considering the support structure evident in the management of Amiga. Obviously, The Amiga consumer hasn't (and probably won't, as yet) shy away from spending money on what was considered a questionable venue; with promises of new life ahead, I predict they will be more willing to spend again, once they know what they are to spend it on :). What about businesses that are/were on the brink of failure because of the understandable complacency that typified The Amiga Consumer? Or will new developers emerge, confident that they can tap the "ground-floor" fever with the promises of a newer, better computer and accompanying OS abounding?
We will be watching with great interest. Hope to see you there...
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