Acorn didn't license enough, decides HauserBy Chris Williams. Published: 29th Apr 2004, 16:10:19 | Permalink | Printable
Oh yeah, that was probably itIn an interview this month with CustomPC magazine, Acorn co-founder Hermann Hauser took great pleasure in dissing Microsoft, Apple and also RISC OS. While the interviewer ribbed the Archimedes for being that 'nerdy school computer', Hermann revealed a few things about the early Acorn era that he helped found with Chris Curry.
Hermann admitted that Amiga was more popular outside of school, at the time, because Acorn had chosen to market their machines as educational computers. He also fondly recalled that the BBC Micro was faster, better and cheaper than the Apple II, which was probably why the little 8 bit beast won Acorn the BBC computer contract at the start of the 1980s. Acorn also turned down using MS-DOS, in favour of their own OS, because it lacked a sensible approach to networking: having hooked up a machine to an Econet network, logging in and using the network was pretty straightforward, which is ideal in a classroom environment.
As for the down fall of Acorn, Hermann blamed Acorn's decision to keep all their technology to themselves - it's nice to see he's realised this 10 years after the decline of Acorn: "IBM set a standard with the IBM PC, which no one expected to work at the time. But with hindsight, of course, lots of people approached us to license our technology - our operating system and Econet in particular. Commodore, for example, approached us and at that time we thought this makes no sense - this is clearly a competitive market and we should hog the technology rather than license it. We should have had a licensing strategy."
And while Hermann praised the ARM processor, he probably won't be buying an Iyonix or Omega anytime soon: "There isn't a lot of development going into RISC OS right now. It'll live on for some time, but it's hard to see it becoming a major operating system again."
Here's to that 'some time'.
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