Since 1985 it has had a Windows(R) like environment of its' own, but un-like the PC one it has pre-emptive multitasking (something even Win95 has yet to get right), it can run in under 1/2mb of RAM, and requires only 100k or so of disk space to get a basic Windows-like environment going. The Amiga's window environment is called Workbench and in my opinion is years nicer than any PC alternative. The Amiga's GUI (Graphical User Interface) is easy to use and good for beginners to computing.
To the software developer it has been the birth place of many original applications and games. Well known games such as Worms, Lemmings, SimCity, Formula 1 Grand Pri, Zool, Populous, Shadow of the Beast, Project-X, The Settlers, Defender of the Crown, Speedball, Nuclear War and so on were all born on the Amiga. Applications such as AdPro (now known as Elastic Reality), Real 3D, Lightwave 3D, Imagine, were also born on the Amiga. The Amiga also saw the birth of the first 32bit Operating System for a Personal Computer, the birth of the first CD-based Computer, first 32-bit Console and so on.
The Amiga platform was the birth place for the world's biggest games developers today. Names include: Electronic Arts, Micropose, Psygnosis, Bullfrog, Team17, Bitmap Brothers, Ocean, Mindscape, etc.
In the world of entertainment the Amiga has been used alot. The Amiga has been used in generating graphics/special effects for: Star Trek: Generations, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Star Trek VI, Babylon5, SeaQuest DSV, Jurassic Park (Used for generating a storyboard), Eddy Murphy's - Coming to America, Robocop (the series), Honey I Blew Up the Kids, Quantum Leap, Wierd Science, Death Becomes Her, Max Headroom, Unsolved Mysteries, James Bond - Golden Eye, City Slickers, Animaniacs, Three Men and a Baby, MTV, Warlock, Young Indiana Jones Cronicles, Viper, Clarissa Explains It All, Freejack, Nicelodeons 'Nick Arcade', The Dark Half, and Robo Jr, The Preview Channel to name just some of what its been used in. Recently it was also used in the media centre at the Atlanta '96 Olympics. The Amiga is also used by 95% of Pay-TV stations in the USA. It is also rumoured it was used in the making of Jurassic Park 2 (The Lost World), and the making of ALIENS 4.
The Amiga's architecture is un-like the PC's. It has no need for sound drivers, mouse drivers, joystick drivers, video card drivers, and so on, as it's built in. The Amiga has a built in graphics and audio chipset as well as a built in Operating System which handles all aspects of the computer itself. Also un-like the PC, since 1985 it has had Plug-N-Play, which is now possible on a PC via a Pentium motherboard upgrade. Plug-N-Play simply means you can plug in any hardware you get and there is no need to configure anything to get it working. Win95 + new motherboard will achieve something similar, but not as good on a IBM(R) Compatible. The Amiga's graphics chipset has a built in 24bit palette and able to output at many different resolutions including pAL and NTSC making it ideal for direct output to video.
Some people/places who've used the Amiga include: Australian Comedian Rolf Harris, the BBC UK TV Network, George Lucas, Imperial College London, London Transport Museum, Jodrell Bank (Britan's most famous set of large scale telescopes), Stan Haywood reator of Henry's Cat, Hamworthy Engineering, Evelyn Glennie, Magic Camera Company (made movie CyberJack and James Bond movie Golden Eye), a Zoo in Essex UK, Imperial War Museum, Eureka (Children's science museum in UK), Granada Television, and so on.
Click here to visit the Amiga Picture Gallery and see all different Amiga models which have existed over time. (Tables-Supporting Web Browser Needed)