Drobe :: The archives
About Drobe | Contact | RSS | Twitter | Tech docs | Downloads | BBC Micro

Acorn is a legendary brand says new Acorn

By Chris Williams. Published: 15th May 2006, 00:11:28 | Permalink | Printable

CTS 2006 flyers spin leaves ROS users feeling dizzy

You may recall that our very new found friends at Acorn Computers launched a series of WindowsXP powered PC laptops this month. They wooed crowds at the CTS 2006 show at the NEC in Birmingham last week, and handed out a wad of flyers to fellow salespeople hoping to become Acorn-brand PC resllers. Here's a scan of them:

Click for larger

One RISC OS user who managed to get to the event said he didn't get a chance to speak to the people behind the new company because they were too busy dealing with other punters. Research shows that Acorn Computers Ltd - formed at the start of the year and headed by Shahid Sultan - obtained the rights to the Acorn trademark from a French company that collects such things. The CTS 2006 event's lawyers cleared Acorn Computers Ltd of any suggested wrong-doing, provided they steer clear of linking themselves to Acorn-era products.

Remember, it's all about the brand. Acorn has a decent amount of 'brandwidth', you might say.

Perhaps we should overlook the fact that Acorn's public image in the 1980s and 1990s was seen as nerdy and classroom dwelling, while the more computer literate essentially liked Acorn for ARM and the innovation that grew up around the Cambridge based company. Hats off to anyone who can spin that kind of baggage around to "an iconic and legendary brand".


New Acorn Computers website

Previous: Wakefield 2006 live news
Next: Wakefield 2006 show report


Viewing threaded comments | View comments unthreaded, listed by date | Skip to the end

When I think of Acorn, I think of a group of highly intelligent and very nice people who together couldn't run a bath, let alone a business.

 is a RISC OS UserWill! on 15/5/06 12:54AM
[ Reply | Permalink | Report ]

Good luck to the new Acorn Computers company.

RISC OS is such a complicated name or word compared to Acorn.

It is a pity that the Acorn name did not continue under RISC OS.


 is a RISC OS UserSawadee on 15/5/06 1:00AM
[ Reply | Permalink | Report ]

I suppose we shouldn't be surprised at this; the Commodore brand has been sold, used and abused by PC box-shifters, so why not Acorn? I find it difficult to muster the same sense of outrage that others evidently feel, but perhaps that's because I'm more cynical as I grow older.

Consumers may be naive enough to believe there is some link to the innovative Acorn we knew and loved, but those people probably wouldn't care anyway. It seems to me that the moral is not to put your faith blindly in brand names.

 is a RISC OS Userthesnark on 15/5/06 1:21AM
[ Reply | Permalink | Report ]

All publicity is good publicity IMHO; even if that's people selling PCs. The nut makes people think Acorn. Google Acorn and you're going to end up in RISC OS territory before too long, whereupon those same people who thought fondly enough of the Acorn brand to seek out the brand in the first place might be more than interested in RISC OS's current direction.

 is a RISC OS Usermd0u80c9 on 15/5/06 1:47AM
[ Reply | Permalink | Report ]

I wonder if the new Acorn did have some RISC OS involvement, if they would be more entitled to play on the old ACL's achievements? The marketing benefit they would gain might justify the cost, especially if it was just licensing the brand to someone like Castle and then offering the product to their dealership network. (OK fine maybe I'm dreaming... ;-) )

Is it still legal for a RO dealership to claim they are an Acorn Centre of Technology? Or do you have to have an account with the new ACL just to display the nut on your promos?

 is a RISC OS Usertimephoenix on 15/5/06 8:07AM
[ Reply | Permalink | Report ]

Wake up and smell the coffee, these people are disreputable low lifes from the festing pit of no name PC land, using the Acorn name to fraudulently associate themselves with a previously well known brand, and are out to rip people off with the cheapest nastiest Windows laptops that have ever fallen off the back of a lorry.

If they even realise there are any RISC OS using companies in existance (which they probably will now we've started complaining) their next cheap publicity shot is likely to be to threaten legal action for infringing "their" trademarks. Watch out any dealer that mentions Acorn in any of their advertising.

I fully expect these people to do a runner when the support issues of the crap they are selling start coming in, and pop back up next year having brought back the well recognised and respected Apricot computers. We'll be left with headlines of Acorn going bust "again" with huge debts, and hundreds of angry customers who've paid and received nothing, or are left with broken machines and worthless guarentees.

There is no senario involving these people that will have a positive outcome for RISC OS, except for putting them out of business as quickly and quietly as possible.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 15/5/06 9:49AM
[ Reply | Permalink | Report ]

druck: As long as the headlines are "Pseudo-Acorn Imposter Goes Bust, the Real Acorn Descendants Live On" then I would be happy. As much as I agree with the opinion that they are name-pinching lowlifes, do we know that it's the cheapest crap they're selling?

Unfortunately I think we're stuck with them, for a while at least. The best thing to do would be to latch on to any success they have and try to use it to lure people in this direction. As has already been pointed out, their headline-grabbing has shown that the RISC OS world is the one really carrying on from Acorn - i.e. no publicity at all. There's a lesson to be learned.

 is a RISC OS UserSimonC on 15/5/06 10:20AM
[ Reply | Permalink | Report ]

SimonC: All the evidence is against you; the press are lapping up the story that they are a legitimate sucessor, so when they fail it will be Acorn of the BBC Micro days failing and its reputation forever more associated with fraud and malpractice.

There also hasn't been a single mention of anything to do with RISC OS in the press, so nothing is going to "lure" people to using RISC OS, Acorn's run Windows now like everything else. Any sucess they have benefit them and them alone, and invetiably when they take the money and run, then the press will start sniffing around and throw the mud at us.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 15/5/06 10:36AM
[ Reply | Permalink | Report ]

druck: Nothing is going to appear about RISC OS in the press if people in the RISC OS world don't make it happen. This imposter Acorn has managed to at least bring the Acorn name to the fore again (albeit under dubious circumstances), but they certainly won't mention RISC OS. The challenge is to use their publicity to make some for RISC OS, but that won't happen on its own. The imposters have no interest in doing so, and the journalists probably haven't even heard of it.

Saying "There also hasn't been a single mention of anything to do with RISC OS in the press, so nothing is going to 'lure' people to using RISC OS, Acorn's run Windows now like everything else" seems to be sitting back and accepting the situation. I think it could be used to do just that, but will require some deliberate effort (probably from the likes of ROL, Castle, Ad6 etc.) to latch on and divert the attention to the right direction. Not doing so appears to me to be a continuation of the old Acorn PR malaise.

 is a RISC OS UserSimonC on 15/5/06 11:36AM
[ Reply | Permalink | Report ]

I was shocked, when i read this on Drobe that there was a company with the name of Acorn Computers Ltd. again and with the same nut too.

They BETTER remove the NUT from their logo, after all it is NOT their design of the Acorn Logo, they explicitly STOLE this nut from the formerly Acorn Computers Ltd. company.

If they really want to use this name, they better put a new image behind their company name, after all, the nut remembers us too much at the formerly company.

 is a RISC OS Userdatawave on 15/5/06 11:48AM
[ Reply | Permalink | Report ]

SimonC: It really depends upon your viewpoint of course. To play devil's advocate, many people have argued for the past 8 years or so that we should move /away/ from the nut device and Acorn name; it's a figment of RISC OS's past, not future (which is why it's not used in Castle, Ad6 or ROL's product line). It could be argued that the only defence of the nut logo is therefore to defend RISC OS's past, not its present or future, and the use of it by somebody else only draws that line between our past and future deeper.

Of course, I'm expecting this to get modded down too because people disagree despite being on-topic, but ho hum...

 is a RISC OS Usermd0u80c9 on 15/5/06 12:10PM
[ Reply | Permalink | Report ]

druck: "the cheapest nastiest Windows laptops that have ever fallen off the back of a lorry"

Nice Acorn logo on the lid, though. ;-) Seriously: read the remark about the Commodore brand again. If they've secured the trademark, there's nothing legally wrong with what they're doing.

And if ACL are "cheapening the name" of the old Acorn, then perhaps everyone who bid big bucks on hazily-defined limited rights to RISC OS should take a hard look at their own past to see when the cheapening began, ie. when they failed to pony up the cash to secure the rights themselves.

Anyway, old Acorn's reputation wasn't entirely spotless. If the RISC OS market had something compelling to sell to the world, it wouldn't be so hung up on a brand name it abandoned years ago. Perhaps that's the real story here.

 is a RISC OS Userguestx on 15/5/06 12:15PM
[ Reply | Permalink | Report ]

According to drobe ([link]) Herman Hauser ownes the rights to the Nut logo.

 is a RISC OS Usernikgare on 15/5/06 12:16PM
[ Reply | Permalink | Report ]

I still use RISC OS stopped using Acorn three years ago when I moved to my IyonixPC. It is RISC OS that is the future, as seen by the successful launch of the A9Home last weekend. The hijackng of the Acorn name by this new company should be seen as teh final parting of the ways between the past and the future.

 is a RISC OS UserJWCR on 15/5/06 2:15PM
[ Reply | Permalink | Report ]

in reply to JWCR: Even though the market has moved away from the Acorn logo, many people, such as people at my school still remember it as Acorn, and know of no connection with the Acorn logo (which everyone remembers) and RISC OS. Also RISC OS seems to be tied to the Acorn brand. But I agree that this should be seen a move into the future.

 is a RISC OS UserOliverB on 15/5/06 4:17PM
[ Reply | Permalink | Report ]

Also what does this new Acorn company mean for the Acorn badged hardware from Castle such as the A7000+ ?

 is a RISC OS UserOliverB on 15/5/06 4:22PM
[ Reply | Permalink | Report ]

And the large majority of software in ROM which is still labelled as Copyright Acorn Computers?

 is a RISC OS Usertamias on 15/5/06 5:19PM
[ Reply | Permalink | Report ]

Tamias: I would have thought that Pace bought RISC OS, the lawyers who drew up the terms of the sale would have made the contract water tight. That all copyrights connected to the Intelectual propereties that make up operating system would have been reassigned to Pace as part of the package. I assume therefore, but I am not a lawyer, that these copyrights would have been reassigned to Castle when they bought RISC OS.

 is a RISC OS UserJWCR on 15/5/06 5:43PM
[ Reply | Permalink | Report ]

OliverB: It shouldn't mean anything. Previous agreements and entitlements don't evaporate because another entity appears behind the Acorn logo. In addition the products are distinct enough to preclude any question of infringement on our part. If anything I would suggest that the new Acorn would have to tread carefully not to infringe on the well established RISC OS market in such a way that would leave them open to a law suit.

But the foremost feeling I have about this is disappointment. I know of several people my age who remember Acorn and how good the computers and operating system were. That is positive branding. My first computer was an A3000 as recommended by the teachers at my primary school and till this day my experience and opinion of Acorn/RISC OS is positive. I've used a multitude of Operating System's and yet RISC OS, despite it's limitations, remains my OS of choice.

They're right - Acorn is a legendary brand.

 is a RISC OS UserJohnB on 15/5/06 5:52PM
[ Reply | Permalink | Report ]

Does anyone think that this new Acorn will overtake RM in the UK education sector as their main supplier of PCs?

 is a RISC OS UserOliverB on 15/5/06 6:59PM
[ Reply | Permalink | Report ]

druck>I suspect the computer press are not *in the least bit taken in* by any of this. Let's face it the computer press (for the most part) has been very symphatetic to the sale of windows based machines. As these Acorn (!) machines are windows based too they'll be quite happy to parrot any line they're given (after all the OS license all winds up in BillG's pocket - and thats something the computer press for the most part don't seem to mind).

Personally I believe that although *legally* they may be in the right one must query the moral legitimacy of this "new" Acorn. If the purpose is to associate unrelated computer products (and peoples memories of these) with PC's then that is IMHO dishonest. That having been said is it any more dishonest than saying VRPC running on a PC make that a "hybrid computer" - when in actual fact all it is is still a PC ?

I think this is one of those things that's going to run and run ;(

 is a RISC OS UserAMS on 15/5/06 6:59PM
[ Reply | Permalink | Report ]

I know we should treat it with caution because they're selling but their remarks on brand recognition are ironic: 25% more recognised as a PC brand than the nearest competitor - and this is the brand that Castle deliberately discarded for the Iyonix.

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 15/5/06 9:45PM
[ Reply | Permalink | Report ]

Please login before posting a comment. Use the form on the right to do so or create a free account.

Search the archives

Today's featured article

  • Silence is golden
    Knowing how to tell your RiscPC to shut it
     22 comments, latest by Rien on 7/8/04 5:56PM. Published: 1 Dec 2003

  • Random article

  • Fresco browser history tool now 32bit safe
    Version 0.19 of Historian available
     Discuss this. Published: 6 Nov 2007

  • Useful links

    News and media:

    Top developers:
    RISCOS LtdRISC OS OpenMW SoftwareR-CompAdvantage SixVirtualAcorn

    CJE MicrosAPDLCastlea4X-AmpleLiquid SiliconWebmonster


    RISCOS.org.ukRISCOS.orgRISCOS.infoFilebaseChris Why's Acorn/RISC OS collectionNetSurf

    Non-RISC OS:
    The RegisterThe InquirerApple InsiderBBC NewsSky NewsGoogle Newsxkcddiodesign

    © 1999-2009 The Drobe Team. Some rights reserved, click here for more information
    Powered by MiniDrobeCMS, based on J4U | Statistics
    "Your attitude is appalling and childish"
    Page generated in 0.1535 seconds.