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April 6, 1989

UNIFORUM ATTENDEES AT SIXES & SEVENS OVER UNIX USER INTERFACE ISSUE

By CBR Staff Writer

In an attempt to discover which Unix graphical user interface will win the battle for hearts and minds of users, Chicago-based data analysis specialists SPSS conducted a survey at the recent UniForum exhibition in San Francisco – but found no apparent victor. Asked which user interface they supported, 38% of respondents chose the Open Software Foundation’s Motif, while 28% opted for Unix International’s Open Look offering. However amongst those currently using Unix the result was a dead heat each received 36% support. Other contenders, such as Presentation Manager, Macintosh and NeXTStep all finished with less than 7% apiece. Regardless of the outcome of the interface battle, it seems that hardware brand loyalty is to become a less influential factor in future purchase decisions, 66% of respondents seeing this change resulting from attempts to standardise the Unix environment. Interestingly, while 37% of respondents said that the split between the Open Software Foundation and Unix International had damaged Unix’s chance in the market, 29% believed that it had actually helped. The fact that the highest proportion of respondents were sales people seems to show that the moral of all publicity is good publicity is still alive and kicking in the marketing game.

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