Oddly there were good reasons to be wary from the very start.
The "announcement" at Epson in 2000 (Posters only with no person to answer questions).
Here's an exchange between Rich and me on Iconbar back in late *2000* :
rich (message #1904 - posted at 09:41, 30/11/2000; see [link])
"I gave MD a gentle prod and they say their answers are "almost finished". So, depending on how much they can give away, the answers might be just around the corner..."
ams (part of message #1905 - posted at 15:31, 3/12/2000)
"But it is somewhat worrying that they themselves have not yet given definitive answers to simple questions. In order for the machine to be available in December then (at least) a prototype should have been seen outside their offices by some independant third party. Bear in mind the photo on their web site seems to an Omega displaying an ROS desktop, surely if that's the case why not let someone else see the machine in action ?"
As it happens I actually don't believe it was MD's intent to defraud anyone. I do believe they *genuinely* intended to provide a new RISC OS machine. But that having been said I do not believe for one minute that a machine *existed* in anything approaching a demonstratable state in 2000 when deposits were being taken. I figure that they probably thought getting enough money to pay for the development (or its completion) was the way to go, and that's what they did. Thing is it appears that the development was more complex and took longer than expected. In short the intention was good - but the implementation got a bit unstuck.
I believe great damage was done both to purchasers and to other RISC OS companies and to the credibility of the platform as a whole on foot of this.
Chris Williams, Ian Chamberlain and Paul Beverley deserve full credit for pursuing this story rather than as some have done and turned a blind eye.
There is no need for people to "give up" on buying RISC OS products. A little more caution is required that is all; perhaps the simple rule of thumb to be applied is *don't* take things on face value, *only* buy machines that are complete [and if not complete wait until they are, or buy a different one that *is complete*], and if someone is unprepared to show you (or independent observers) their wares - **don't buy**.