Why Bill Gates wants RiscStation's secretsBy Chris Williams. Published: 16th Nov 2003, 23:00:12 | Permalink | Printable
Redmond will pay anything for RiscStation's crucial breakthroughEditorial So there I was, sharing a virtual cup of tea with none other than iconbar.com's very own Andrew Poole and whilst nattering about life in general, Andy pointed out that he'd earlier spotted something quite incredible. It involves RiscStation and us guessing just how much they'll be worth once Microsoft starts writing some cheques.
You may recall back to the start of 2003, when Microsoft chairman Bill Gates sent out a memo to all his employees begging them to focus on security. Bill was growing worried that Microsoft products were being seen as insecure and untrustworthy, hence the sudden, rash drive to prove to the world that the software giant does take things like security very seriously. It was almost believable until the summer Blaster RPC worms and other nasties lay siege to Microsoft's Windows operating systesm. As you can imagine, the worldwide IT chaos that ensued dealt an embaressing blow to Bill and Microsoft.
Now before you scramble to post a comment, let me honestly assure you that drobe.co.uk doesn't have a hate complex towards Mr. Gates and we're not caught up in some mindless envy of the billionaire. Granted, just merely considering using his company's operating systems makes us want to inhale razor blades and dine on our own fingers but that's just our smug opinion. After all the recent abuse the mainstream tech press have thrown at him, we think Bill deserves a break and so it's fitting that our friend Andrew should discover a perfect solution for Microsoft.
And that solution is RiscStation. RiscStation recently launched their PC laptop range that runs Microsoft WindowsXP and VirtualRiscPC-SE to allow RISC OS 4 to run on Intel x86 hardware. However, despite all the security concerns surrounding WinXP and the armies of email viruses and trojans roving the Internet hunting for vulnerable computers, RiscStation aren't even breaking a sweat and this is why they're Microsoft's knight in shining armour.
RiscStation claim a number of things on their website. They say their machines are 100 percent 'PC virus free'. So does that mean RiscStation are offering a completely virus immune PC running WinXP? Cynically, it could just be that the PC laptop is virus free when you get it, but here's hoping there's no special offer to give under 16-year olds a free goodie bag of destructive, 0-day exploits to play with. RiscStation say their machines are 100 percent 'Email virus' free, another breakthrough for the little hardware dealer assuming the PC laptops are capable of at least downloading email. Fair's fair, RiscStation do state that their products have 'fast boot' times and we acknowledge that WinXP is quite nippy at starting up. Until it gets clogged up with adware. Maybe RiscStation have a way around that.
"Our companyís aim is to promote the use of the RISC OS operating system with its strengths over less reliable disk based alternatives", RiscStation 's website explains in a contradictory manner. WinXP is apparently "less reliable" but it's ok to stuff it on a laptop and flog it to people who've waited two years in the dark for a native portable.
RiscStation adds: "With many companies dissatisfied with the unreliability and exposure to the many viruses targeted certain operating systems RiscStation is promoting the use of RISC OS as a viable alternative."
RiscStation could have all this 'virus fee' stuff guaranteed if they had properly followed through the native portable route but that wasn't to be, it seems. So Bill, name your price. RiscStation have the answer to all your prayers - a faster, safer, virus free WindowsXP system. With their new found wealth, what could RiscStation do? Pay back left over portable deposits? Fund further RISC OS development? Buy us a year supply of pizza? Sounds as inspiring as MicroDigital's "Octber" education page. We just can't wait for the 'promised' RiscStation PC desktop solutions to roll out.
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