In my opinion Malcolm has a valid point and in several ways I agree with him. There are two computers in my house, both RiscPC's. One is exclusively used in the studio, the other in the rec room mostly for Internet use, some common tasks and an occasional game of Doom by my girlfriend. The thing is, we are definitely not prepared to add another machine to compensate for any shortcomings, as many RO users seem to do or already have done. The Internet / general use RiscPC needs replacing and we just can't justify an Iyonix or A9home It would take too much improvisation and additional upgrading (yet more money) to make it anywhere near capable of our wishes. For us, the Mac is the only real option.
Well said. In any case, the A9home is a recent example of that and it shows that even within the RO enthusiasts' market it fills a sort of niche. My hunch is that many would rather opt for the Iyonix, since it's overall better value as a desktop computer, though I personally like the A9home better. I think ROL are having a very difficult time. Nevertheless, I am disappointed with them for several reasons, which I'd better not repeat here and now. They did a fine job in making their OS ready for the A9home, though literally at the cost of the Select subscribers.
I know quite a lot of people who do not have a TV nor a DVD player, strange huh! I'm also at the point of getting rid of our TV since it no longer offers anything useful to us. Thus, we'd occasionally like to watch a DVD on a computer, which actually quite a lot of people require, TV or not, reasonable or not - it's simply a requirement and RO, as a desktop OS, must face that. Video chat is getting more and more desirable for many people, so again a requirement of a modern desktop computer. Web browsing is essential and I believe most people rather not use 3 or more browsers for the job, though for professional webdesigners it's another story. When ripping an audio CD, I'd like it to do so in the background, using the Filer (like using a floppy) while doing something else, such as browsing. Variations is very nice, however I've seen photo applications freely bundled with a new computer which equal and surpass it without much effort. In short, most people rather have these options for free or not too much extra money.
"But I agree, it would not be hard to beat Windows level of usability and reliablity and make things simpler for the non-technical user."
I certainly do not like Windows, but 2000 and XP seem quite solid and usable. However, if possible, I'd rather do a certain job on RO simply because I like its apps and GUI better. Support for modern standards, wether proprietary or not, is getting worse and worse with RO, because I think the processing power is lacking, the OS architecture is lacking, development resources are lacking, funding is lacking... did I leave something out? What I'm trying to say here, is that RO is an excellent OS, for an increasingly smaller amount of tasks.