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August 22, 1988


By CBR Staff Writer

It is questionable how much such listings are worth, but just as most pop music fans follow the top forty charts avidly despite knowing full well that many records get hyped into the lofty positions they occupy, so the computer industry can’t get too much of top forty-type data on the rankings of companies in any market niche. So it is that a new set of figures compiled by the US monthly Unix World, which separates the worldwide Unix revenues of software and hardware companies in order to create a list of the top ten Unix system companies and top ten software companies, is generating interest. Figures have been compiled from information both from the companies themselves and from inustry analysts such as International Data Corp, Dataquest, Novon Research, Hambrecht and Quist, the Yankee Group and the Gartner Group. The result shows the major players in the Unix field:

Software companies

Unix revenue Total revenue AT&T $50.0m $33,800.0m Informix $47.2m $82.0m Santa Cruz Operation $46.2m $46.2m Oracle $33.5m $280.0m Microsoft $32.0m $345.9m Amdahl $28.5m $1,500.0m Relational Technology $24.5m $29.2m Interactive Systems $21.5m $21.5m Unify $15.0m $15.0m Uniplex $10.0m $10.0m

Hardware companies

Unix revenue Total revenue DEC $1,100.0m $9,400.0m Sun Microsystems $872.4m $872.4m AT&T $789.5m $33,560.0m IBM $594.5m $54,200.0m Apollo Computer $553.6m $599.2m Hewlett-Packard $447.1m $8,200.0m NCR $383.5m $5,640.0m Cray Research $255.0m $687.3m Altos Computer $170.6m $170.6m Amdahl $138.0m $1,500.0m

Not surprisingly, AT&T heads the Unix software list, although Unix World admits that the $50m revenue figure is a seat of the pants estimate, because AT&T refuses to confirm a specific number. Surprises in the software category include Amdahl, which doubled its number of Unix installations over the last year, and the UK company Uniplex at number 10, helped by lucrative defence projects. And despite DEC’s well publicised preference for its VME operating system, the company still managed to clock up $1,100m in Unix hardware revenues. The notable absence of Unisys Corp, which claimed $500m Unix revenues last year, is explained by the inclusion of only the original hardware manufacturers on the list – Unisys buys in the majority of its Unix hardware from third parties, including NCR. The tables are of course clearly out of date: Sun Microsystems is now a billion dollar company, DEC did $11 billion in the year to June. The tables are drawn from the September issue of Unix World.

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