SimonC's point is my thoughts exactly. I need MS compatability so I have a PC at work with windows.
I have a PC at home with Windows (free to me, legally) and dualboot with Xandros Linux; I paid $80 for this, so if the OS is free (linux) some still pay for the benefits (xandros over the lovely Vectorlinux). I have an IBM (a good one) laptop with XandrosLinux as well. I have VA5000 and thought of upgrading to VRPCajust or whatever it is called these days, however, I wont do it because it is locked into one machine. If the OS was pennies and Virtual Acorn could offer something that I could run on 3-4 machines for less than £100 then I woudl be back (and buying software).
The platform IMHO does need new features, it needs more up to date software. Developers will not do this if they cant get a reasonable return. They wont get a reasonable return if the market is too small for reasonable numbers to buy their software. So the one way for the market to expand is to offer the OS for little so people can buy VA in reasonable numbers for their machines; or one copy cheap enough for a RISC OS virgin to put on one machine.
Incidentally it is MHO that for a RISC OS non-user VA is too expensive to tempt the masses. THis does not mean that VA is not good, just my opinion.
I did look at a RO4 RiscPC on ebay yesterday but it went for £156+ postage..... too expensive.
Anyway a cheap RISC OS could expand the market, otherwise it is dwindling. Which is a shame.