Survey: Iyonix use leads VirtualRPCBy Chris Williams. Published: 26th Aug 2005, 22:42:11 | Permalink | Printable
RiscPC outright winnerThe results are in for the survey of RISC OS computer use in 2005, in which we asked drobe.co.uk readers to vote on which machines they used in a daily to weekly basis. Over 60 percent of those who participated in the experiment said they used RiscPC class computers, and around 40 percent said they used Iyonixes. The results also show the dominance the RiscPC has over other RISC OS powered machines.
|Machine class||Percentage of drobe readers|
|VRPC on a laptop||15.5%|
|VRPC on a PC||10.3%|
Click for larger graph
The 'other' catagory mostly consists of RedSquirrel and other RISC OS hardware emulators. The low number of votes for RiscStation and MicroDigital machines, as well as the fact that both companies have seemingly disappeared completely, illustrates how tough it is to break into a niche market. The Castle Iyonix has, however, fared particularly well given that the RiscPC had almost a decade's headstart. Also, the total percentage of VirtualRiscPC use is not far behind the Iyonix, and may explain why Castle decided to drastically increase the royalty fee owed from VirtualRiscPC sales shortly before the fall out last summer.
One reader involved in RISC OS in education pondered to us, "I use up to 11 RiscPCs in a week in a school setting. A further 80-90 children will use RiscPCs during the week and 7 or 8 staff will also use RiscPCs during a typical week. How does that get included in the survey?" In the end, we decided that they'd each have to vote along with everyone else if they wanted to be counted, as every reader is given a vote per machine class. This situation highlighted that this experiment is best interpreted as a survey of personal desktop use, as the survey is ill-suited to measure use of RISC OS in schools, embedded applications and other specialist areas. The survey also doesn't measure the exact number of RISC OS computers in use - only the percentage of drobe.co.uk readers who use the machines. The survey also cannot accurately measure which RISC OS version is most used, as RiscPC class machines can run anything from 3.5 to 4.39.
As for the political nature of these results: The excuse that there are not enough Iyonix users to ensure a return on investment in RISC OS 5 targeted development is now arguably weakened. Even with the RiscPC and VirtualRiscPC totals stacked up, the Iyonix userbase is not an insignificant proportion. You'd also think that they would be an attractive bunch to pitch products to, seeing as they were prepared to spend over a grand on a 600MHz XScale machine.
And so, we now await the results of Archive magazine's survey, which is being conducted in parallel to drobe.co.uk's. If anything, it'll possibly highlight that online readers prefer emulation and print subscribers are happy with native hardware, or vice versa. Many thanks to everyone who took the trouble to participate in the drobe.co.uk survey.
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