When the Nimbus PC series was launched, Research Machines already had a long history of providing innovative and reliable computers for the British education market.
The Nimbus PC was also intended to support schools in the use of the computers. It wasn't a pale copy of a standard PC but a fast and versatile DOS machine entirely designed and manufactured by RM.
The basic machine held 192 KB of RAM, a single 720 KB floppy drive and extended sound and graphics. It could be expanded to 1 MB of RAM, dual floppy drives and up to 160 MB hard disk. The Nimbus was also designed as a network station and came with built-in Piconet and ethernet ports.
The Nimbus ran a modified version of Microsoft MS-DOS 3.10 that could not run on a standard PC. Sadly, this was quite a limitation. Although an IBM emulator software allowed some standard PC programs to run, only software specifically written for the Nimbus was able to take advantage of the improved sound and graphic features. However, RM and third-parties released numerous languages and educational software that fulfilled most school needs.
A special x86 version of BBC Basic also allowed a wide range of programs written for Acorn machines to be run. To note also that some Nimbus software would run on a standard PC, for example the Nimbus versions MS Word and Multiplan.
Special thanks to Margaret Wainwright and Peter Russell who donated us this computer !