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April 20, 1992

THUMBS DOWN FOR UNIX, NT IN FROM NOWHERE IN COMDEX POLL

By CBR Staff Writer

People that go to Comdex don’t rate Unix, the twice-yearly technology poll conducted by Byte magazine among attendees seems to suggest – and IBM Corp still has an uphill fight to win over the hearts and minds that are presently in the Microsoft Corp camp. The table shows the percentage of respondents that predicted dominance in five years’ time for each of seven operating systems listed in the table.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – Operating System Spring 1992 Autumn 1991 Autumn 1990 ============================================================= MS-DOS + Windows 44 62 39 Unix/Xenix 10 13 16 Mac System 7.0 2 n/a n/a MS-DOS alone 3 5 18 OS/2 15 7 12 Windows NT 16 n/a n/a Taligent/Pink 1 n/a n/a None will dominate 9 10 12 Mac OS n/a 3 3 – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

The results – reported in Microbytes Daily – demonstrate a growing interest in 32-bit operating systems: OS/2 more than doubled its vote, to 15% from 7% last autumn – but Windows NT, which wasn’t even in the poll last autumn, won 16% of the votes despite the fact that most of the respondents have likely scarcely seen it. Unix slumped to 10% from 13%, the lowest it has ever scored in the Byte poll. Top choice was still MS-DOS with Windows, with 44%; the 18 percentage points it has lost in the past six months have all gone to Windows NT and OS/2. Some 9% still think that no single operating system will dominate. The poll also asked which of six technologies would have the greatest practical impact on the respondent’s company in the next five years. Here multimedia got 38% of the votes, up four points from October, while portable systems held even at 20%. Object-oriented programming received 16%, up from 14% in the autumn, but wireless communications fell two points to 12%. The gathering perception that pen input has been over-hyped was reflected in the fact that it slipped two points to 8%, and speech technology doesn’t have many friends either, dropping one point to just 7%.

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