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June 28, 1998 Reader Survey Results

A short time ago IBM released a developers' toolkit to facilitate the creation of video card drivers for OS/2 that would take advantage of OpenGL video acceleration. What this means is that if video card manufacturers put the effort into updating their video drivers, OS/2 users can have hardware support for 3D accelerated graphics to rival that of Windows users. However, even if such drivers are developed, software programs (be they business, game or other applications) would have to be written to take advantage of hardware OpenGL features. This chicken and egg problem, plus the general estimate of the size of the OS/2 market is keeping most video card manufacturers from announcing plans to create drivers.

We wondered how many people really care about 3D acceleration. After all, IBM tells us that OS/2 is a 'corporate' operating system and as such it may not need fancy graphics. To find out, last time we asked for your opinions about "OpenGL Hardware Support".

Answers to our survey were accepted from June 28th until July 14th. We had a total of 919 replies to our questionnaire with 42 "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 877 valid replies. The results were as follows:

Is hardware OpenGL video acceleration important?

OpenGL video acceleration is considered important by our readers. Not only did the majority of readers (52.8%) tell us it was very important, another third of readers (31.1%) felt it was somewhat important for a total of 83.9% of OS/2ers looking for OpenGL support.

Do you want hardware OpenGL support for games, business or other use?

Perhaps surprisingly, OS/2 users are searching for this enhanced graphics ability for multiple purposes. While we might have expected the largest group to be asking for game support, the majority (68.1%) told us they wanted it for both games and business applications.

This probably shows that IBM is correct in assuming that business users realize Warp is the best operating system available (and not just big business users) but it also shows what many have maintained for some time: the computer market is homogenous. You can't separate one segment of the market from the other. We all want to use our machines in many ways.

Would you buy a new video adapter to get hardware OpenGL support?

Of course the real issue is whether we will put our money where our mouths are. If we won't pay for OpenGL support, we can be certain that no company will ever develop it. Luckily, we say we will pay for it. More than three quarters of our readers told us they would either definitely or probably purchase a new video adapter to get hardware OpenGL support. Now we just need a suitable company to step up and do the job. Is anyone listening... ?

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That's it for this issue. Don't forget to fill out this issue's questionnaire and check back on August 1st for complete results.

Complete June 28, 1998 Survey Results

Is hardware OpenGL video acceleration important?

Very important46352.8%
Somewhat important27331.1%
Somewhat unimportant263.0%
Very unimportant101.1%
I am indifferent475.4%
I am not sure434.9%
I do not understand the question151.7%

Do you want hardware OpenGL support for games, business or other use?

I don't want/am not sure I want it637.2%
I want it only for games829.4%
I want it only for business434.9%
I want it for both games and business59768.1%
I want it only for other reasons222.5%
I am not sure576.5%
I do not understand the question131.5%

Would you buy a new video adapter to get hardware OpenGL support?

Probably not11613.2%
Definitely not354.0%
I am not sure647.3%
I do not understand the question80.9%


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