How do you know how much money ROL have? Are you privy to their accounts? As far as I can see, they employ at least one engineer and have found the time for said engineering staff to mess around with rounded buttons, graduated backdrops and the structure of !Boot (which I found required manual intervention to get some apps running again after upgrading, hardly a great thing for less experienced or new users). Surely porting Java or improving Replay (ie. adding modern codecs to it) and the like would have been a better use of time. Rounded buttons and graduated backdrops are simply an insult to subscribers who are paying for useful improvements.
Yes, I would rather have seen ROL spend their time on useful things that others can do for nearly free. What guarantee was there that MW would port GIMPrint or David McEwan would write a media player? Why should a RISC OS user pay for Oregano or use less-capable browsers? It is the responsibility of the OS developer to develop and bundle such utilities. That's the way it works nowadays. It's hardly radical or The Only Way To Save RISC OS - it's copying the market leaders in order to survive as a viable platform.