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Developer Acorn Computers, Pace
Working state Historic
Available in English
Platforms ARM
Default user interface RISC OS
License Proprietary

NCOS is the graphical user interface-based operating system developed for use in Oracle's Network Computers (those computers have been discontinued).[1] It was adapted by Acorn Computers from its own RISC OS,[2][3] which was originally developed for their range of Archimedes desktop computers. It shares with RISC OS the same 4 MB ROM size and suitability for use with TV displays.

Pace purchased the rights to use and develop NCOS from the STB division of Acorn Computers[4] (by then named Element 14). RISCOS Ltd later announced 'Embedded RISC OS', which was to have similarities with NCOS.[5]


NCOS originated in connection with the Network Computer project. It was used on various STB products.[6] It branched from RISC OS 3.60 and was called RISC OS 3.61[citation needed] before being named after Network Computer Operating System.[7] It was merged back into the HEAD whilst at Pace,[citation needed] where it was known as RISC OS-NC[8] and RO-STB.[9]


NCOS was designed in accordance with the Network Computer Reference Profile and therefore supports internet standards of the time.[citation needed] Being closely based on RISC OS, it is also capable of running a number of that operating system's applications.[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Aguilar, Rose (1996-02-26). "Oracle to debut $500 network computer". CNET. Retrieved 2011-05-27. The Oracle Network Computer (NC) [...] will come with a small footprint operating system called the NCOS [...] 
  2. ^ "Acorn Group spurs NC clone market by giving away nc hardware production and reference designs". PR Newswire. 1997-08-19. Retrieved 2011-06-07. A scaled down version of RISC OS was licensed to Oracle to form its NCOS(TM). 
  3. ^ Mills, Elinor (1996-01-15). "Oracle unveils plan for family of Internet devices". Network World. p. 10. ISSN 0887-7661. Retrieved 2011-06-10. [Andrew] Laursen confirmed an agreement with Acorn Computer Group Plc. [...] on the development of reference designs for a range of network computer products. [...] "The Network Computer will use pieces of the RISC operating system [...] calling it NC-OS," [...] 
  4. ^ Pace Micro Technology PLC Annual Report & Accounts 2000
  5. ^ Middleton, Paul (2002-02-08). "Foundation Newsletter 20". RISCOS Ltd. Retrieved 2011-06-08. Embedded RISC OS [...] In principle it will be similar to the NCOS derivative of RISC OS previously used in Network Computers [...] 
  6. ^ Whytehead, Chris. "Acorn NCs, STBs & Prototypes". Retrieved 2011-06-08. Acorn produced the following Network Computers, Set Top Boxes and Prototypes [...] 
  7. ^ "V.E.R.A. Search Results". VERA. Virtual Entity of Relevant Acronyms. Retrieved 2011-06-09. NCOS Network Computer Operating System (OS, Oracle, Internet) 
  8. ^ Whytehead, Chris. "Bush Internet Surf Set". Retrieved 2011-06-08. 
  9. ^ Whytehead, Chris. "Pace DSL4000". Retrieved 2011-06-08. 
  10. ^ Acorn Clan Newsletter A7000+ (PDF), Acorn Computers, p. 13, retrieved 2011-07-20