Atari STe... what was *that* all about?
You're saying that the Amiga sometimes crashed when you chose to run other applications at the same time, whereas the ST didn't crash because you didn't have the choice to run two applications at once anyway? Hmm...
(I've mentioned on more than one occasion that most of the benefits of \Amiga OS didn't rely significantly- AFAICT- on the custom hardware, which brings up the under-considered possibility that the ST- with the same 68000 CPU (clocked marginally faster) would probably have been quite capable of running it with little change).
Anyway, I was the other way around to you- I traded my Atari 520STFM in for an Amiga after a year of owning *that*, and I never regretted the decision.
From what I knew (and have heard since), the STE was a sort of half-baked attempt to improve the base ST spec. It increased the palette from 512 to 4096 colours, but still only allowed 16 on-screen (which was the main limiting factor in the first place). It had sampled sound- great in theory, but apparently it only allowed a limited range of sample playback rates- crap if you want to play music, since you then need multiple samples to get a full octave.
What were they trying to achieve with the STE anyway? It *would* have been an effective way of (slightly) countering the threat from the falling price of the Amiga if it had replaced the SFTM at the same price (#), but it didn't- they charged more for it and kept selling the former. (##)
This probably explains why the STE's extra facilities didn't get much support. Who would pay more for the STE since most people who were prepared to do that would have gone for the Amiga anyway?
The fact that the STFM remained as the base model meant that more of them- and less STEs- would have been sold, increasing the tendency to write to the base spec, and decreasing any reason for supporting the STE (which in turn made it less worthwhile to spend the extra on the STE instead of the STFM; typical vicious circle).
Had the STE replaced the STFM, enough of them would eventually have got into circulation by default that it might have been worth developers' time to support the enhanced features.
As it stood, why pay more for an STE if the extra features weren't supported, when the Amiga was already out there (###)? And why support the STE if most of the STs being sold were STFMs?
(#) My suspicion is that this was the original intent, and Atari got greedy and/or messed it up, similar to the debacle with the Amiga 600 (which should have been the cheap Amiga 300 but was positioned as the replacement for the Amiga 500 at the same price; this, interestingly was around the time that the Amiga was in turn being threatened by the Mega Drive and PC at either end. The true successor- the Amiga 1200- came out a few months later, so why bother?)
(##) They did do this eventually, but by mid-1991 it was already too late. I could easily have replaced my SFTM with an STE instead of an Amiga, but I certainly didn't want to.
(##) Particularly as it was around this point that the Amiga's decreasing cheapness- and increasing userbase- meant games aimed at it took advantage of its technical superiority, unlike the early 16-bit era where most had been little different to the ST versions.