No, I didn't say that RISCOS Ltd's business model is not to put our products into new markets. That is your deliberate mis-interpretaion! Our business is definately to find new manufacturers to use RISC OS, but our markets are restricted by our original Head Licence with Element 14. That Licence (as was clearly stated in the original Press Release from RISCOS Ltd/Acorn - copy at [link]) was exclusive to us and was primarily targetted at the desktop market. Pace had their own markets, e.g Set Top Boxes, and Network Computers. Anything else was fair game.
We don't have the resources to be in the business of trying to predict which processors any new manufacturer will use for future products. As has been pointed out by many people, there are significant differences between different ARM processors, which means a lot of work to support different cores and SoC designs. So if, for example, we had produced RISC OS 4 for the XScale as a test bed, who is to say that anyone would have actually have decided to use an XScale based design? In the event Castle didn't have the expense of developing RISC OS 5 for the Iyonix. They just nicked it from Pace. So we could have spent a lot of time and money making RISC OS 4 work on the XScale and then not have had any customers for it. In comparison Advantage Six came along and wanted to use the ARM9 and so we were happy to work with them on a fixed design.
There is no information publicly available for licensing costs, because it is not a matter for public discussion. It is a matter for individual discussion, based on the customers requirements.
As has been pointed out many times, RISC OS Six does not use a HAL, in the way that the Iyonix does. So your implied comment that RISC OS Six doesn't have a good HAL is meaningless. RISC OS is actually far better abstracted than RISC OS 5.
I would finally point out that RISCOS Ltd never promised an OS for the Iyonix. The availability of Select for Iyonix was dependent on a number of factors. Firstly the availability of the requisite technical information from Castle. (Which was never forthcoming). Secondly co-operation with Tematic who were supposed to have been working on the required RISC OS 5 kernel changes to support the desktop features of Select (this never happened because Tematic was closed down and all the staff laid off when Castle failed to get the sales of RISC OS 5 that they had expected into huge new markets.) So we can claim success in that we signed up 4 manufacturers to use RISC OS 4. Perhaps you could list the manufacturers who have produced products using RISC OS 5?
Finally on a commercial level only around 110 people out of a potential total Iyonix market of around 1,000 users actually committed to wanting Select on the Iyonix. That was not sufficient to justify the investment in trying to do all the work ourselves. After all who would have benefitted most? I would suggest that Castle would have expected to make far more profit out of increased sales of the Iyonix, if the far superior Select had been available for it, than we would have made from selling a couple of hundred Select subscriptions. This ignores the fact that many Iyonix users were already Select subscribers, and hence were not about to pay again for Select for Iyonix.
In comparison we have around 5,000 users running RISC OS 4 or 6 on VRPC, and around a similar number of RISC OS 4 users on Risc PC and A7000. So it is clear where our efforts were best devoted.
Events have subsequently proved that to have been the right decision, as there will never be any more Iyonix sales.
In comparison the ARM NetBooks offer the best option for the future, and there is no reason why we can't produce RISC OS Six for one or more of them, if the RISCOS Ltd shareholders decide that we should go down that route.
I should of course point out that no-one other than RISCOS Ltd can licence RISC OS for use on Desktop Computers. (see the Castle FAQ at [link])
That was a key part of our Head Licence Agreement. We have nothing against RISC OS Open offering the Iyonix sources for free and developing new versions of RISC OS 5 for the Iyonix, but if anyone wants to produce a commercial version of RISC OS for a desktop computer then they must come to us for a licence.
The costs will be very reasonable, and will not have any commercial impact on the price of a product. You will notice also from the above Castle Press Release that they admitted that RISC OS 5 included most of the RISC OS 4 enhancements, when RISC OS 5 was released. Our Head Licence gave us the copyright to all derivative works created from the sources we received from Element 14, for use in our market after a 4 year period. Q.E.D RISC OS 5 is a derivative of RISC OS 4, and is therefore our copyright, with a free perpetual licence back to the Head Licence holder for use solely in their non-competing products outside of our target market.
We want RISC OS to continue to flourish, but it has got to be done in a properly controlled way. If everyone expects RISC OS to be given away for free then who is going to make any money to support new development? How will RComp or CJE or Martin Wuerthner make any money to develop new products, if everyone expects everything RISC OS related to be given away for free? We all need to support the market, instead of trying to put it down. We put a tagline on our new web site to say that it was best viewed by Netsurf, as a clear sign of support for people who may not have heard of Netsurf to give it a try, but you just complained. You don't include any links to RISCOS Ltd on the Netsurf pages, as if to try and make out that we don't exist. How about practising a bit of all round promotion for RISC OS, rather than just links to Drobe, ROOL and riscos.info on the Netsurf browser default page?
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