Extended MS-DOS will be the leading personal computer operating system of the future, according to an attendee poll conducted by Byte Magazine at last week’s Comdex/Spring exhibition in Chicago. Microbytes Daily reports that when asked to predict which operating system would be the dominant force in the personal computer industry by the end of 1992, […]
Extended MS-DOS will be the leading personal computer operating system of the future, according to an attendee poll conducted by Byte Magazine at last week’s Comdex/Spring exhibition in Chicago. Microbytes Daily reports that when asked to predict which operating system would be the dominant force in the personal computer industry by the end of 1992, 30% of the 4,000 attendees nominated Extended MS-DOS. OS/2 was picked by just 20% of the delegates, and came third to Unix, which gained a 26% endorsement. Traditional MS-DOS got a 13% vote, while Macintosh OS came last with 4%. With 31% of the votes, Extended MS-DOS also topped a similar poll conducted by Byte at last year’s Comdex/Fall fair. However, OS/2 appears to be finding gradual favour: in the autumn poll, the product came in third place with just 16% of the votes, trailing Traditional MS-DOS at 18%. The new Unix standard was fourth choice at 15%, but when combined with Standard Unix, the Unix share rose to 24% of the total votes cast. The results of the two polls will be analysed in a special report, which Byte plans to publish shortly. OS/2 also proved a popular debating point for Comdex’s panel of industry experts, comprising Jim Seymour, Will Zachmann, Stewart Alsop, Tim Bajarin, Amy Wohl, and Enzo Torresi. Although all the panellists agreed that the product had been slow to arrive, there was a divergence of views concerning its future. Zachman claims that the operating system was destined to take over the majority of desktops, were counterbalanced by Bajarin, who drew attention to the fact that between 15% and 20% of the computers currently being bought by Fortune 500 companies are 8088 or 8086-based machines. Reinforcing the view expressed by the poll, the panellists also agreed that MS-DOS would continue to dominate the personal computer environment, with estimates of the installed base share which the operating system would hold by 1992 ranging from 30% to 45%. However, OS/2 was awarded a unanimous second place, with its share placed at between 20% and 30%. Graphical user interfaces proved a second popular debating point. The panel was split between those who dismissed the drive for a standard as irrelevant, and those who claimed that with the common look-and feel of Microsoft’s Windows, IBM’s Presentation Manager, and the Open Software Foundation’s Motif, a standard interface had already been established. None of the experts was prepared to bet against Steve Job and NeXT; however, other individual predictions included the death of the mainframe, and a victory for Micro Channel over the EISA bus consortium.