Amstrad

From Academic Kids

Amstrad Consumer Electronics plc, usually known as Amstrad, is a company formed in 1968 by Sir Alan Michael Sugar in the UK, and based in Brentwood in Essex, England. The name is a contraction of Alan Michael Sugar Trading. It was listed on the London Stock Exchange in 1980 and delisted in 1997.

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Computers

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Amstrad_CPC464.jpg
Amstrad CPC 464 Computer

In 1984 the company launched the popular Amstrad CPC 464 home computer range in the UK, France, Australia and Germany (in Germany under the Schneider brand name)—it was followed by the CPC 664, CPC 6128. "Plus" variants later in the products lives increased their functionality slightly, while building in compatibility with the GX4000, Amstrad's short-lived foray into the video gaming world.

In 1985, the business-orientated Amstrad PCW range was introduced, which were principally word processors running the CP/M operating system and the LocoScript word processing program. The Amsoft division of Amstrad was set up to provide in-house software and consumables. Amstrad briefly entered the video game console business with the GX4000 based on the CPC Plus hardware which failed to catch on.

On April 7, 1986 Amstrad announced it had bought Sinclair Research Ltd, including its ZX Spectrum, for 5 million. It launched three new variants of the Spectrum: the +2, based on the Sinclair ZX Spectrum+ 128K, with a built-in tape drive (like the CPC 464); the +3, with a built-in floppy disk drive (like the CPC 664 and 6128), taking the 3" disks that many Amstrad machines used, and a completely new motherboard; and the +2A/+2B, using the +3 motherboard in a +2 case with tape drive.

The company moved with the times and produced a range of affordable MS-DOS-based, and later Windows-based personal computers, the first of which was the PC-1512.

Satellite TV set top boxes

Amstrad has been a major supplier of set top boxes to UK satellite TV provider Sky since its launch in 1989. In fact, Amstrad was key to the introduction of Sky, as it was the only manufacturer producing decoder boxes and dishes at the system's launch. Amstrad has continued to manufacture set top boxes for Sky, from analogue to digital and now including Sky's Sky+ PVR box.

In 1997, Amstrad supplied set top boxes to Australian broadcaster Foxtel, and in 2004 to Italian broadcaster Sky Italia.

e-m@iler

In 2000, Amstrad released the first of its combined telephony and e-mail devices, called the e-m@iler. This was followed by the e-m@ilerplus in 2002, and the E3 Videophone, or E3 e-mailer, in 2004.

Home entertainment

Amstrad has also produced a variety of home entertainment goods over the years, including hi-fis, televisions, VCRs, and DVD players.

External links

es:Amstrad fr:Amstrad

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