back to article Tao Group throws in the towel

Entertainment software platform maker Tao Group Ltd went into administration on 31 May it has emerged. According to sources, the Reading-based firm's IP portfolio was sold in a private auction last week to venture capitalists Cross Atlantic Capital Partners. Companies House currently lists the status of Tao Group Ltd, which …


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  1. Outcast


    Is this why Amiga Inc are now gunning so hard for Os4 ?

    To those that are unaware, Amiga's new Os was supposed to be based on Tao's Intent. Amiga was uninterested in improving it's own "Workbench" Os and basically cast if off to a third party developer who then improved it considerably.

    Now Amiga wants it back

    I wonder why?

  2. Paul Hammant

    Missed opportunity

    With Taos (before Elate) they won a Byte Award in the early nineties for best new technology (I could be wrong on the Award title). details more about their earlier stuff.

    Taos was not available for easy download (unlike Java later). If it had been from the start, and innovation continued, the intervening 18 years might have been a bit different.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    time tunelling

    Ah yes, Taos... that was a sneaky scheme to use Motorola 68000 machine code as a "universal binary"... so that games could still be written in assembler language, and in one with a sane macro-architecture into the bargain.

    IIRC each target architecture was supposed to have a m68k code interpreter.

  4. Boris


    re: Time Tunneling.

    "M68K code", not quite, it is/was a set of virtual opcodes and an indefinitely large set of registers.

    "m68k interpreter" ....again, not quite. The virtual opcodes were translated to the host machine code, this could be done either in advance or on the fly. There is no interpreter.

  5. Jasmine Strong

    No, not 68k asm

    Actually, Taos, Elate, Intent et al were all based on something called VP, which was a virtual processor bearing more than a vague resemblance to ARM. Sadly, the development tools they provided were so utterly awful that nobody was interested, and by the time they finally provided a C compiler it was way too late.

    How do I know? Because I ported the Intent JTE onto one of my platforms. Weird thing, that was; avoid at all costs. I also know that several of their engineers continued working at Tao for little or no money well into 2004; the sheer amount of koolaid flying around Reading must have been astonishing.

  6. Colin Wilson

    Tao / target processor

    ISTR Tao would seamlessly load-share across _any_ hardware platform for which an interpreter had been compiled and thrown into the network, not restricted to hardware with m68k interpreters.

    It was like a distributed computing Java platform on steroids, and it's shame to see such an innovative technology go to the wall.

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  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oh Pooh, the bother

    >Amiga was uninterested in improving it's own "Workbench" Os

    There's no such thing as "Workbench OS". The Workbench was the visual metaphor; like "Desktop" is to Windows. The Amiga OS is called just that. Don't confuse it with Intuition either. Or Exec.

    >To those that are unaware, Amiga's new Os was supposed to be based on Tao's Intent.

    That's not quite correct. The idea was to deliver compact, Amiga-like software and an "Amiga-like experience" on small lower-power systems. Ideally it would have eventually used virtual instructions for a sort of hardware-agnostic platform, in a similar idea of portability like Java or even TrueBASIC. In essense it was going to be a bit like UAE in that you could hopefully/eventually run Amiga software with it on lots of different things. This was Amiga Inc's interest anyway - what counts as "Amiga software" is open to interpretation. It would have been handy for the "new Amiga" since it isn't really an Amiga at all (much like how modern Macs are more or less just IBM clones running a unix derivative with bundled Mac emulators). The OS wasn't going to be based on Intent.

    I'd like to know from Jasmine what exactly the real poop is on the specific former Amiga and Tao/Intent plans. There was so much marketroid BS flying that it was hard to read between the lines.

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