Please note, the information contained on this page relates to AmigaOS 4.0 and may no longer be applicable to later versions of AmigaOS.
Introduction to AmigaOS4The Amiga and the AmigaOS started out in the early 1980's by a company called Hi-Toro, which was a company set up by the now legendary Jay Miner. His aim was to produce a computer system that would rock the industry, and revolutionize peoples ways of thinking, and eventually he succeeded.
The first version of the AmigaOS was version 1.0, which shipped with the first A1000 in mid October 1985. At that time the OS was something never seen before. It was the first operating system with Multitasking and a Graphical User Interface (GUI) in color for the mass market. It is also a pre-emptive multitasking OS, this means a program doesn't need to be written specifically to multitask yet it will function seamlessly alongside other applications. The actions taken by a user will be instant on the operating system. The mouse pointer moves instantly when you move the mouse etc. Another key advantage the Amiga OS has over many others is how light on resources it is. It uses far less memory and computing time over other OS's, yet it remains very powerful and flexible. You can run many full blown applications within a few megabytes of memory on a low end CPU and achieve the same result as a more power hungry OS.
Up to now there has been three generations of the Amiga OS, with each generation there has been new Amigas and new features added to the OS. But one thing has remained. The OS has always been tied to the hardware and more specifically the 68k series of CPU, which has been out of development for some years. The aim of the forth generation, OS4, is to break away from the custom chipset of the original Amigas and change over to the PPC architecture allowing plenty of scope for future development.
After many false starts Hyperion took on the challenge of creating a 4th generation of the OS, and so far they have been doing a blindingly good job. The OS is as user friendly and simple as the AmigaOS has always been, and it still has a low footprint. In my mind OS4 has lost nothing that the older generations had, it is still the Amiga Operating System. Just brought more up to date with yet more features added.