Iyonix Select yet to show 'commercial viability'By Chris Williams. Published: 23rd Jun 2005, 18:46:33 | Permalink | Printable
Pledged Select cheques won't be cashed until work beginsFurther to earlier comment on RISCOS Ltd. and the issue of Select on the Iyonix, ROL boss Paul Middleton says he won't ask for money from Iyonix users who want Select until development on that version begins.
Responding to concerns from punters that they are being asked to buy into a scheme with no real direction, Paul explained, "The plan at present is to simply continue to take pledges for Select for Iyonix and when we are in a position to proceed, we will ask to convert those pledges into real cash."
It's believed that the company is seeking 100 Iyonix owners who are not Select subscribers to pledge, in order to secure funding for a Select port.
Apparently over-stretched from fighting legal threats, supporting the older Acorn range of computers and the new 32bit products from AdvantageSix, RISCOS Ltd. has put forward "vague and unclear" proposals because, according to Paul, the company needs to be sure there's enough Iyonix owners who will buy Select subscriptions to make the effort commercially viable. In order to get RISC OS Select to run on an Iyonix, RISCOS Ltd. will need to write the various driver modules required to power the Iyonix hardware - such as PCI, USB, the graphics system and so on.
Paul added, "We are not going to start taking money for a project that we are unable to give a serious timescale on.
"We have stated that it is our goal to make Select features available to all current RISC OS users, however there has to be a commercial viability to that goal. The technical requirements of producing Select for Iyonix have to be balanced with the commercial return. We know the size of the market, and I don't want to raise false hopes of progressing with Select for Iyonix until we have both the available resources and the required level of subscribers."
The exact technical specifics of how a 32bit Select will be installed and run on an Iyonix are still on the drawing board, although it's likely that the Select operating system will replace the RISC OS 5 host OS in the same way Select takes over from RISC OS 4 on older kit. Although some have claimed that Select can be loaded in a 'piecemeal' fashion by loading separate modules over RISC OS 5, Paul said, "Simply adding Select 'desktop' features to RISC OS 5 is not an option because of the required low-level support within the kernel."
Whilst some Select subscribers have complained that they were not included in the recent 32bit Select survey, others have pointed out that it's been about a year since the last release of RISC OS Select. One Iyonix owning subscriber commented, "I will subscribe to a 32bit Select, but only if its appearance is firmly promised. I don't mean a date; I'm an engineer, and I know that dates slip for all sorts of good reasons. I simply mean that a statement of a wish to bring out a 32bit Select won't be enough to make me part with money."
RISCOS Ltd. website
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