adamr>"it [VARPC] could have increased hardware sales by tempting ex-users back into the market. "
A singularly inefficient way of doing it. Yep, you buy a PC with Windows XP to buy a further piece of software (VARPC) to run RISC OS for you and then you're so overcome with joy you buy an Iyonix ? Is this really likely ? Really ?
I would suspect a person with an old chugging RPC sees VARPC running on a cheap PC - it's faster than their old box - the package costs less than an Iyonix - YIPPEE they buy the PC. Technically I suppose they're still using RISC OS - but the only new hardware bought was a PC. Then at some point they say - nah, why boot VARPC at all - save the time - just run Word/Excel/Powerpoint - game set and match Microsoft.