As the original target of Stuart's newsgroup reply, I need to wave my oar, don't I. I've made it fairly clear that I can't see why STD and RComp need to badge bundles of VA and clone PC as if they were some special box.
I don't object to the VA product at all. It's the bundle that's the problem.
We have banged on about the reliability of "our" kit for years, reduced Cost of Ownership justifying higher purchase price, etc. I know that sticking VA+Adjust into the mix ramps the base price by a bit. It does seem strange, though, to go for bottom-end machines to demonstrate the "proof of concept". Either STD will be selling them, in which case it matters to a degree in terms of margin, or they won't. If the A5 is a "proof of concept", surely a better base would have been more sensible?
Maybe it's the ability to badge the clone in question, although that begs the question of the transparency of the demonstration. Does one pretend there is nothing but RISC OS on the box, and not let the client touch it? Or is there a big "ta-Daa" moment, when the emulated nature of the beast is revealed?
Bottom line is I *so* don't like the smoke and mirrors bit. There's nothing wrong with the idea of demonstrating the concept of RISC OS on a stylus-entry device using emulation as the first step on the way to a native pen-based device. It's a wonderful idea. The point of the branding exercise escapes me, though.