SimonC>But what do you mean by "low speed". Emulated RISC OS is *still* slower than RISC OS on (say) an Iyonix and probably the A9 as well (except in the area of disk write-caching and an area in the interest of security I would happily see native RISC OS beaten on - if you get my drift ).
As to keeping RISC OS alive - that spurious argument was used with respect to Virtual Acorn and all it did was effectively move a significant number of their 3000 customers onto the PC (I mean in the drobe survey *very few* of those 3000 chose to reply - so one is left with the inexcapable conclusion that they were happy without MS Word and the Windows XP experience ;( ).
All a Linux RISC OS emulator will do is coax those few holdouts that would not contenence emulation of RISC OS under Windows to opt for RISC OS emulation under Linux. In either event it means the death of the RISC OS as part of a stand-alone hardware platform - something to be regretted.
As to Julian's point - no the ARM1020 is passe we now have ARM11 (!). Your presumption is that ARM will simply lie down an do nothing and simply let Intel swing in and swipe all of ARM's licensees. That simply *won't* happen (IMHO) it will mean that ARM may have to promote and may even have to discount some of their licensing costs on the higher end processors - that is what will make them shift. Simply hoping that Intel won't someday simply encroach on the cash cow that is ARM7 and "rob" ARM of cash is not an option. The days of ARM keeping a "low profile" and hoping that Intel would simply ignore them is long gone - I seriously believe ARM will raise their game (I certainly hope so).
As to the other point - yes producing a new ARM based system *is* expensive - but some of the expense is down to working out the likely number of purchasers - having yet *another* emulator *does not* help in this (if anything it makes producing a new machine a more dodgy proposition). So the best option for RISC OS is *no* emulation (on Windows or Linux) and support for Iyonix (or a successor) or when its completed A9 (or preferably an "A10" with the things that A9 lacks added).
Simply relying on the interest of Linux fans or the "goodwill" of Microsoft is *not* IMHO a means of securing the future of RISC OS.