RISC OS will never compete with PC's on raw processing power. So we need to think outside that square and position RISC OS in places where it can compete.
People general don't by a computer for the operating system or the hardware, it is usually for the applications running on the hardware / OS combination. For RISC OS to survive it needs to offer something other systems don't.
Lower power is definitely a key capability of ARM processors and this is why they are commonly used in PDA's and mobile phones. To leverage that capability RISC OS companies need to target markets where low power is a requirement e.g. providing wireless web browsing and email etc for boats, mobile homes, camper vans. Perhaps a modified A9home?
However if power saving is the best we can come up with I am worried. Look at the premium price you are paying to save money on the power bill...We need to have a much stronger arguement that just RISC OS savings money on your power bill. I agree this is part of the package but the full picture must be looked at.
For RISC OS to succeed we need a number of things from what I can see:
- Faster processors - MHz do matter
- Floating point maths - to improve multimedia performance, Open GL etc
- Faster OS development - so the boat isn't missed
- Support for modern hardware - printers, USB2, SATA disk drives
- Applications that differentiate RISC OS in a positive way e.g. the way ArtWorks does.
- Better marketing
- Positive user base
- More sales...
In the marketing world people will tell you that it requires far less effort to make a sale to an existing customer than it is to gain a new one. Something needs to be done to keep people on board or everyone is just flogging a dead horse.