Both Commodore and Sinclair made machines that were innovative, before these two companys came along all we had were TV pong and Atari 2600 machines. Amstrad saw a market and thought "let's have a slice of that pie", knocked up a cheap home machine that offered nothing new what-so-ever and tried to take our money...
Of course Amstrad wanted a piece of the pie. They knew they could do better but it was a very risky venture. They were not a huge company by any means and other 8 bits were falling by the wayside all the time.
Amstrad did innovate. They saw demand for a home computer as opposed to a games machine which was what the C64 and Speccy had been reduced to. A computer that could be used by Dad to write letters and also could be used to play games. Amstrad also saw that the tangle of leads and the fact that the Speccy and C64 needed to use the family TV also put people off. Where they innovated was by offering a complete package.
They also had a belief in what would work in a market where more machines were failing than suceeding.
They innovated by designing the CRTC, without which the CPC would have been a glorified Spectrum. They also used their knowledge of manufacturing in the Far East to get the chips and computers manufactured and more importantly with a reputation of being very reliable (at the time Spectrums were being made in the Timex factory in Scotland, with high failure rates). Take a look at a Spectrum circuitboard before and after Amstrad took over to see Amstrads approach. Custom intergrated chips instead of a mess of components.
And today do we sit at PC's with dedicated monitors and proper keyboards, or do we used rubber keys on the family TV set? Sir Clive was a brillient brillient man, and he innovated, but he seriously wanted the Spectrum to be an all round computer but one that you'd plug into the family TV. I have Tasword on my Speccy, and it does your head in to use it on a TV. And that's the thing, innovators aren't always in touch with reality. Just like how he couldn't see that the C5 was a daft idea. The difference is that Amstrad knew what would work, and what wouldn't.
The key thing about the CPC is that forcing users to buy a monitor pushed the serious side of the machine as well. It was a stepping stone between the 8 bits and the PC era. It also pushed the CPC a notch above the Speccy and C64 which were seen as cheaper and not as serious.
If you look at the Amstrad PC, Amstrad didn't invent the PC, but they were the people who helped put a PC on everyones desk in this country. That was seeing a gap in the market as well.
As I said before I am looking foward to reading about this machine, and hopefully learning something from the article....
Yes. And then perhaps you will not be making sweeping untrue statements on the messageboard.