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So this is a call out to the smart readers at OSNews.com to offer your own suggestions, opinions and comments.
What I'm going to say won't make any friends, but after reading your piece the first thing that popped up in my head was "Obsolete zombie technology refuses to die".
Considering that the owner of GEOS hasn't got the slightest inclination to invest further in it nor setting it free. Has adopted a foolproof business plan for bankruptcy with targetting 3rd world education, an area where even the efforts of non-profit and socially oriented outfits are frought with difficulties. Having a user group that is giving up hope. With this set of conditions, I don't see a prospect of survival and further development into relevant technology.
Sounds like GEOS in the current state is in the select company of Amiga OS, OS/2 and the likes. The thing groans and staggers about, all the while eating the brains of sane people.
If this technology really is too valuable to lose, I can only suggest to assemble a group of GEOS enthusiasts with programming skills and pull a Haiku. Reimplement the system under a FOSS license (perhaps name it SOEG: Similar OS Enviroment to GEOS) and try to get it up to par and then think about futher development paths that takes the reimplementation forward. Pick a base to build upon if you want to keep it a shell technology (may I suggest FreeDOS if it needs to be true to its roots). If you want independence, develop a base OS that can support your efforts (make sure you can build upon an already existing and freely available driver base). If you can develop a usable system with productivity apps that runs on i386 processors till the latest hexacores and up, with minimal footprint, you've got a winner.
Remember, while Breadbox may own GEOS, they don't owe you anything and you don't owe anything to Breadbox (you've paid your license fees and that is all that is required). That the original BeOS was the property of Palm (now HP) didn't stop BeOS fans from developing Haiku. The only project I know of that did a pretty successful resurrection (in the sense that I don't perceive Haiku as a zombie technology).
Again, no offense taken and more important, this is exactly the commentary I was hoping for as my primary reason for writing the article was to get objective, third party comments from a fresh audience, versus the tired old critics, and defensive corporate replies shared on the GEOS-Talk boards.
In another post a few minutes ago I wondered allowed whether it didn't make more sense to take advantage of the advances in Linux, drivers, modern programming languages, etc. to re-create the PC/GEOS experience and maybe like you suggest, this may be the only practical way to extend the GEOS legacy moving forward.
Thanks for the thoughtful commentary. And when the guys from GEOS-Talk catch wind of my article here, what I've said probably isn't going to make any friends either!