Well VA (which you mentioned) *only* runs on Windows. To use VA effectively you need windows. It isn't a simple matter of "freeing the OS from its ARM roots" as the roots go rather deep (much of the OS is written in ARM code and you can't easily transfer ARM to x86 as the code is different the number of types of registers differ and so on). The OS is has an intimacy with the underlying hardware (which differs somewhat from that on the PC) unless you opt to port RO5 and that (even with the HAL) would be a bit of a steep climb.
ARM is gradually improving its performance and even countenancing larger caches and changes in architecture to improve performance. So perhaps we should be too *quick* to ditch ARM just at the moment - any switch would involve considerably more pain and probably not a lot of gain to boot.
ROL flogs RISC OS 4 for all emulators Download a RISC OS 4.02 ROM image for a fiver from RISCOS Ltd's website from Monday and use it with your favourite machine emulator, such as RPCEmu. The package is set to include the !Boot and application and utilities files too. ROL boss Paul Middleton said: "We have been looking at ways of making a low cost, or 'virtually free' version of RISC OS available for some time." Keep an eye on ROL's new sales website. The ROM image, which contains the operating system code usually found on the ROS ROM chips, will be available on CD too. 17 comments, latest by Calculon on 13/12/08 9:34PM. Published: 6 Dec 2008