ROL open share investment to allBy Chris Williams. Published: 5th Feb 2006, 04:02:31 | Permalink | Printable
Select subscribers urged to chip inRISCOS Ltd have gone public with their drive to fund future development of RISC OS 4 by selling shares in the company. The developers of Select are hoping to flog 50,000 shares to pay their programmers and to what managing director Paul Middleton describes as funding "the development and acquisition of complimentary technologies for RISC OS". Paul later declined to comment on what these technologies are, citing "commercials reasons".
The company, which is celebrating its 8th birthday, made the decision to allow more people and organisations to invest in it at the 2004 AGM. Paul also called on Select users to renew their subscriptions despite not shipping a product under the scheme since June 2004.
"The level of subscriptions is important, not only to provide funds for the work to be undertaken, but also to give accurate figures of the number of users who are actively interested in the work being done," said Paul.
"There is no point in us spending £30, 000 developing the next version of RISC OS if there are only 150 people who are going to buy it."
The company hopes to achieve a Select 4 release in May, in time for the A9home to leave beta status. AdvantageSix have been working on drivers and kernel updates for their compact computer while ROL focuses on making the OS 32bit safe and completing Select 4. A new version of StubsG is also in the pipeline and the team are said to be working on solving the SharedCLibrary issue. The situation is less clear on the Select for the Iyonix port saga. The company has claimed that it is struggling with the port because it needs documentation from Castle on how the Iyonix driver modules work - which they would rather use than reimplement from scratch. Secondly, despite the Iyonix Select Pledge campaign meeting its target, the company remains hesitant to commit to a port. At the South East 2005 show, Paul said his company was unwilling to distribute an "interim" release of Iyonix Select to subscribers as it was unfinished, although they may now roll out components that are known to work - such as those seen at the recent shows.
Paul commented: "Despite the encouraging level of interest shown on the Select for Iyonix pledge group, the current level of pledges is insufficient to cover the full amount of work needed. It is likely therefore that the first stage will be a limited release of features to users who have continued with their Select subscriptions and who pay a supplement. We will be contacting those who have pledged and/or expressed their support for Select for Iyonix setting out the options later this month."
ROL have managed to sell 500 copies of RISC OS 4.39 since April 2004 and some 6,400 copies of RISC OS 4 to date.
Details of share investment - from the 2005 company reports, each share costs £1.
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