Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 29th Sep 2008 16:20 UTC, submitted by teigetje
RISC OS A huge blow to the already small RISC OS market and community: Castle Technology has announced that the Iyonix range of ARM-based RISC OS computers will be taken off the market after 30th September. Support will continue through the Iyonix website, the dealer network, and by email. This leaves Advantage6 as the only manufacturer of RISC OS hardware with its A9Home computer.
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RE[2]: killer app
by Athlander on Mon 29th Sep 2008 19:30 UTC in reply to "RE: killer app"
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"what they need is a killer app.

That doesn't work anymore. Sure, it did back in the Visicalc days. But today, if the killer app is FOSS it quickly gets ported to other, more popular platforms. And if it isn't FOSS, the huge development community that exists today quickly clones it. The phenomenon of a "killer app" popularizing a platform is long dead. On PC hardware, at least.

I think this is true. The reason Sibelius was a "killer app" back in the day had a lot do with how well it used the hardware as well as the lack of competition. At the time, an Acorn machine could easily hold its own against a PC and Apple. Certainly, the earliest versions were coded in assembly, and for the time was blindingly fast. I recall that a reason cited by the programmers for switching to PC was the lack of decent C (or C++) tools, as they had moved away from assembly language. I'm pretty sure they also looked at the numbers, and decided that the PC market would be more lucrative, just as Computer Concepts/Xara did.

I'm a fan of RISC OS and the old Acorn machines. In the days of floppy disks, 1gb drives, and 8mb of RAM, they were in many ways better than PCs and, debatably, a match for Macs, Amigas and STs. The desktop world is different now, and I don't think most people care about the features that still distinguish RISC OS from other operating systems.

I genuinely believe there's a future for RISC OS, but any commercial attempt to expand the userbase would need a lot of capital and be willing to begin as a loss-making enterprise because, to be honest, 600GBP for a kit Iyonix to 1100GBP for a monitor-less system was only ever going to appeal to die-hard fans.

Edited 2008-09-29 19:31 UTC

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