"I don't care whether M$ have noticed or not. It's the principle: why are we forced to use Windows? Why don't they (STD) offer an alternative?"
You're not forced to use Windows. Go to Castle if you want a real ARM machine. STD do offer an alternative, the A75. It might not be quick, but that's because it's expensive and doesn't make much business sense to design a whole new computer. If you want to avoid the 'Windows tax', lobby VirtualAcorn to create a Linux version of VRPC.