The Amiga was originally designed by a team led by Jay Miner
at a company originally called Hi-Toro. The name was changed to Amiga primarily in order to appear before Apple
in the phone book. Atari
funded some of the early development, but when Amiga were looking to sell out to a larger company offered less than a dollar per share
were willing to go up to four twenty-five and ended up owning a small Californian
company with some pretty impressive custom hardware
. Amiga had been aiming at something that was effectively an incredible games
machine with some computing ability, while Commodore shifted the focus to a more general purpose machine hoping to mimic the success of the Commodore 64
Several Amiga models were released between 1985 and 1994.
1985 - Amiga 1000
1987 - Amiga 500 and Amiga 2000 (see also Amiga 1500)
1990 - CDTV and Amiga 3000
1991 - Amiga 600
1992 - Amiga 4000 and Amiga 1200
1993 - CD32
In 1994, Commodore US filed for Chapter 11 reorganisation. The Amiga division was bought by Escom in 1995, who went bust in 1997. Gateway then bought the assets, went through several business plans, gave up on all of them and sold the rights to two ex-employees at the end of 1999. Amiga are now developing an operating environment based on the TAO multi-platform OS which is supposed to be released in mid-2001 and is mainly aimed at developers of digital convergance systems rather than replacing existing desktop OSs.