I'm pretty sure the NetBSD and OpenBSD would dispute that statement. OpenBSD even compiles its ports directly (not cross compiled). Both projects benefit from these architectures by finding bugs.
Also, although not a popular company, Oracle just introduced a new SPARC and given Oracle's behavior, they wouldn't do it unless it had a profit and a future.
1) look at one of their exhibits, these folks believe in running on anything including toasters
My biggest frustration with the alternate chip vendors is the total lack of a simple ITX / ATX motherboard with a chip, expandable memory (preferably ECC), and a standard set of ports. Even ARM is problematic at this.
I am mystified at how hard it is for a chip vendor to produce a motherboard.
E.g. Freescale Cortex M0 for $1.09 in singles: http://www.digikey.ca/product-detail/en/MKL03Z8VFG4/MKL03Z8V...
Cheapest AVR (ATTiny4 for $1.36) http://www.digikey.ca/product-detail/en/ATTINY4-TSHR/ATTINY4...
Cheapest PIC (PIC10F200 for $0.60) http://www.digikey.ca/product-detail/en/PIC10F200T-I%2FOT/PI...
They're all at least in the same order of magnitude. And in my experience, arm-none-eabi-gcc is a way nicer development experience than MPLab or AVR Studio. avr-gcc is decent once you get it set up properly.
Why do you think so?