Little for the comfort of the less well-placed mainframe software developers and marketers in Software News magazines 1987 Software User Survey. The returns suggest a further slowing in the growth of spending on software this year. The survey is drawn from figures supplied by more than 2,500 organisations accounting for approximately 10% of 1986 worldwide sales, which are put at $17,500m a year. Software vendors projected to make the largest gains during 1987 include Ashton-Tate, Cullinet, Lotus Development, Management Science America, Wordperfect, Computer Associates, Information Builders, Oracle, Pansophic, Relational Technology, Software AG and Uccel. According to the survey, markets for mainframe software will grow by 11%, minicomputer by 21% and microcomputer by 16%. Gross rates two years ago were 21%, 32% and 53% respectively, so growth in all three sectors is slowing. The US federal government will spend nearly $5,000m on software in 1987, 23% more than last year and more than any of the other 10 major user groups represented. IBM posted a 31% gain in software revenues in 1986 while its total revenues were up only 3%. DEC, the second largest maker of computer hardware, grew faster overall but more slowly than IBM in software, 17%. The Lotus 1-2-3 spreadsheet remains the leader in the microcomputer software industry with 70% market share, according to the survey findings. The fastest growing software niche areas this year are seen to be desktop publishing, the decision support system, computer-aided software engineering, and program generators.