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Acorn ponders RISC OS PowerPC port as it launches NT servers.

Taken from the PowerPC news, June 19th 1995

Acorn Computers, the Cambridge, UK-based builder of machines for schools has announced two PowerPC 604-based Windows NT servers.
At the same time, the company acknowledged that it is examining the feasibility of moving its proprietary RISC OS onto the PowerPC platform, and licensing the operating system to other manufacturers.

The Acorn SchoolServer is a pretty standard PowerPC machine based on the 100MHz 604 processor, based on the IBM OEM board and running Windows NT 3.5.1 .

The box is expected to be available in mid-July and pricing has yet to be set, though the smaller AS 500 is expected to debut at around UKP5,000, while the AS 1000 will cost closer to UKP8,000.

Acorn has gone to ANT Ltd, which has built a piece of universal client software for Acorn's RISC OS boxes.

This 'Omniclient' supports Lan Manager, NFS and Netware protocols.

Acorn's decision to go with PowerPC at the server end raises a few questions since the company 43% of Advanced RISC Machines Ltd, developer of the successful ARM processor.
People have been wondering for a while whether the company might port its proprietary RISC OS operating systems and Mark Phillips, Acorn's network product manager acknowledged last week that there is an ongoing project with IBM to examine the feasibility of porting RISC OS to the new chip.
However if it goes ahead, he says any new models will be complementary with the existing ARM-based line.

The company is also considering that big step of licensing its operating system to other manufacturers says Phillips.
Again, he highlights the word 'considering'; though acknowledging that the move might help increase the application base and RISC OS's penetration.

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