AW>The primary benefit of the shared source initiative are the users (or potential future users) of RISC OS 5.xx - as such it has nothing to do with RISC OS Ltd. It does, however, open up possibilities for better exploiting and further expanding RISC OS 5.
The other big plus is it gives more developers the option to update/upgrade or experiment upon the *actual* source. That may suggest as yet unthought of options in terms of new features or functionality. It may also mean that RISC OS 5.xx can be adapted to use newer or different hardware.
How much of this can be acchieved is dependant on circumstances and also the ingenuity of the RISC OS developer community - on the whole I'd be optimistic.