[Boot multiple Operating Systems! (Click here).]

April 16/98 Reader Survey Results

Living with OS/2 often means dealing with uncooperative hardware or uncooperative hardware manufacturers. We've all probably had occasions when we were forced to pass up the latest gee-whiz expansion card because the OS/2 drivers for it were a poor imitation of their Windows counterparts, or worse, did not exist at all.

Naturally, this sort of hardware dilemma affects the way we use our computers. Some would say it makes us more resourceful than the typical "plug it in, call your brother when it doesn't work" Windows user. To find out how much OS/2 compatibility really affects OS/2 users, last month we asked about, "You and Your Computer".

Answers to our survey were accepted from April 16th until April 30th. We had a total of 1,518 replies to our questionnaire with 56 "spoiled" entries (replies were considered "spoiled" if they did not contain an e-mail address, if all questions were not answered or if they were duplicates). This left 1,462 valid replies. The results were as follows:

Did you build or buy your computer specifically for OS/2 compatibility?

Those of us who were foresighted enough to think about OS/2 compatibility before we bought or put together our boxes, obviously suffer the least from hardware headaches. Wondering just how many of these forward thinkers there are among us, we asked if readers had bought or built their computers specifically with OS/2 in mind.

A surprising number of readers (83.8%) either bought or built their computers specifically for OS/2 compatibility. The majority of those (and of readers in general -- 61.1%) built their own computers. In fact, our readers were generally well prepared, with only a small number of them reporting that they had not considered OS/2 compatibility (9.0%). What was saddest though, is the even lower number who purchased a preloaded OS/2 machine (5.5%). With the huge size of the computer market in North America, it is disappointing that so few hardware vendors choose to cater to this untapped niche (with a few notable exceptions).

Have you ever upgraded hardware to run OS/2 or run it better?

Whether we considered OS/2 compatibility before our purchases or not, computer hardware does not stand still, even for OS/2ers. Most of us eventually are faced with "upgrade envy" and we wondered how many of our readers felt they needed to improve their computers' OS/2 performance. Here an even larger number of you (84.9%) told us you had upgraded your hardware in some way to make OS/2 run better, or run at all. However, a significant number (14.6%) reported that you have never added to your OS/2 systems.

What was your primary source of info for your OS/2 computer purchase or upgrade?

Strangely, when we asked where OS/2ers get their advice on hardware upgrades and/or purchase, only 4.0% reported they did not upgrade or buy with OS/2 in mind. This seems somewhat surprising after the large numbers that told us in our first two questions that they had not upgraded or bought/built for OS/2 compatibility.

Of those who did upgrade, buy or build though, the general trend seems to be to seek information on the Internet. Just over half (54.1%) of our readers told us they used Usenet, WWW or other Internet sites, or mail order or WWW retail stores to track down info on OS/2 upgrades or purchases. Considering the even spread among different sources of information, IBM did not fair too badly in our survey -- 6.7% of you said that they were your primary source of info for your purchase/upgrade. The one largest source for info (25.2%), however, was Usenet newsgroups, proving that OS/2ers feel there is no substitute for its direct question and answer format.

* * *

That's it for this month. Don't forget to fill out this month's questionnaire and check back in May for complete results.

Complete April 16/98 Survey Results

Did you build or buy your computer specifically for OS/2 compatibility?

I bought my computer with OS/2 preloaded805.5%
I bought my computer for OS/2 compatibility33222.7%
I built my computer for OS/2 compatibility89461.1%
I did not consider OS/2 compatibility1329.0%
My computer was a gift / I had no choice201.4%
I have no computer of my own00.0%
I don't remember30.2%
I don't understand the question10.1%

Have you ever upgraded hardware to run OS/2 or run it better?

I upgraded hardware to run OS/21359.2%
I upgraded hardware to run OS/2 better1,10775.7%
I have never upgraded because of OS/221414.6%
I don't remember60.4%
I don't understand the question00.0%

What was your primary source of info for your OS/2 computer purchase or upgrade?

I did not upgrade or buy with OS/2 in mind594.0%
User groups / SIGs1268.6%
Usenet newsgroups36825.2%
WWW sites34623.7%
Other Internet sites392.7%
Local retail store342.3%
Mail order / WWW retail store372.5%
Print magazine1097.5%
I don't remember120.8%
I don't understand the question20.1%


[Our Sponsor: Indelible Blue - OS/2 software and hardware solutions to customers worldwide.]

Copyright © 1998 - Falcon Networking ISSN 1203-5696