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Commodore brand prepares for relaunch

Tulip Computers is to relaunch the Commodore brand as interest in the obsolete Commodore 64 computer and its games reignites.

The company has estimated that there are still six million Commodore users, who can choose from a range of 6,000 games developed for the system.

Tulip is working with Ironstone Partners, which will handle all sales of Commodore 64-related products worldwide and take over the main C64 web portal. Enthusiasts have made more than 10 million game downloads.

Unauthorised use of the Commodore name by other organisations will be stopped, Tulip said.

Even if the Commodore 64 hardware is obsolete, enthusiasts have written emulators for Windows PCs, Apple Macintoshes and now PocketPC-based PDAs to enable original Commodore games to run on those systems.

Commodore was one of the pioneers of the PC industry, entering the market in 1977 with its 8-bit PET (Personal Electronic Transactor). The C64 was launched in 1982, followed a few years later by the Amiga.

Slowly, the crucial graphics edge that these systems enjoyed was eroded by successive improvements in Microsoft's Windows OS, and Commodore went into liquidation in 1994.

Tulip, based in Amersfoort, Netherlands, bought the Commodore brand name and other assets in 1997.

David Legard writes for IDG News Service


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