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It’s the end of the year, so its no surprise to see market research companies coming out with their latest attempts at quantifying Unix sales and growth over the next few years. The market for Unix supermicros in the US will approach $5,000m by 1992, according a new report by Frost & Sullivan, New York, which is based on a survey of 5,000 users and vendors. Entitled Unix on 32-bit supermicrocomputers market in the US, and costing $2,200, the report suggests there will be an explosive growth in the demand for multi-tasking, multi-user computers, to unit sales of 343,000 in 1992 from 76,000 in 1987. Frost & Sullivan divides the general US Unix market into three groups. The non-commercial segment which includes academic, government and non-profit users is expected to increase to $7,200m in 1992 from $1,950m in 1987; the commercial non-technical market to $4,800m from $1,950m; and the commercial technical group from to $5,900m from $2,600m. The price-performance advantage of of supermicrocomputers will boost their sales at the expense of minicomputers and proprietary operating systems. Significantly the report does not expect Unix to overcome IBM’s and Microsoft’s efforts to establish OS/2, believing a dual Unix-OS/2 standard for 80386 systems will emerge, but does says Unix will expand its position as the dominant operating system for 68000 systems. As far as Europe is concerned, a new report from International Data Corp called Unix Strategies Marketplace suggests that the largest growth in small scale Unix systems has been in Spain. Medium scale systems are growing fastest in West Germany, which it also sees as the largest Unix market in Europe. IDC puts the value of Unix shipments in 1987 at $1,920m – in comparison, the figure from rival research group Dataquest is $2,400m so you pays your money and you takes your choice. IDC’s report will be available shortly – selling for UKP1,950.

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CBR Staff Writer

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