Reader survey results: The burning NC question -- who needs it and why?
Find out whether your fellow readers plan to implement network computers and what they think are NCs' most and least attractive features
While the majority of SunWorld readers who responded to our survey on NCs agree that network computers will benefit their companies, immediate plans for implementation aren't quite on the horizon yet. 64 percent of the 67 readers who answered our January questionnaire say NCs will be useful in their companies. 73 percent of these respondents, however, say they have no immediate plans to use them. So do NCs still represent a significant technological step forward? 58 percent say yes, while 36 percent disagree.
According to the readers, simplicity of hardware and the resulting reduction in maintenance (63 percent), the inexpensive, anticipated price (63 percent), and the simplicity of hardware making configuration easier (55 percent) were the top three features they found most attractive about NCs. On the flip side, the lack of users' ability to alter configuration (37 percent), fewer user capabilities (33 percent), and the fact that company management may require the purchase of NCs before bugs are fixed or applications are fully defined (29 percent) were the most troubling issues for our respondents.
Interestingly, the number of readers who say they will purchase NCs within a year and those who have absolutely no plans to buy NCs are almost identical. 23 percent of the readers think their companies will start to purchase NCs in the next six to 12 months. 22 percent say NCs are not in their plans at all. But overall the number of respondents who will eventually buy NCs (52 percent) outnumber those who will not (31 percent -- including those who answered: "Never if I have my way.") 17 percent aren't sure about their NC purchasing plans.
For more detailed statistics, see the complete results below and also be sure to read what these readers have on their NC feature wish list in "Readers comment on NCs".
--Carolyn W.C. Wong
Yes: 26.9% No: 73.1%
Yes: 58.2% No: 35.8% I don't know: 6.0%
Yes: 63.6% No: 27.3% I don't know: 9.1%
Size: 16.9% Anticipated price (sub-$750): 63.1% Ability to connect to the Internet sans PC: 36.9% Lack of users' ability to alter configuration: 52.3% IT department retains control over users' hardware: 44.6% Return of the `glass house': 18.5% Simplicity of hardware should reduce maintenance: 63.1% Simplicity of hardware should make config easier: 55.4%
Size -- too small to be my everyday computer: 22.4% Anticipated price -- at this price, management will want everyone to have one, whether they need it or not: 10.2% Ability to connect to the Internet without need for a PC means fewer user capabilities: 32.7% Lack of users' ability to alter configuration: 36.7% IT department retains control over users' hardware: 6.1% Return of the `glass house': 12.2% Potential for users/departments to lose control of their desktop systems and possibly their minds, no, LANS: 16.3% Company management will require IT to buy NCs before the bugs are worked out or applications fully defined: 28.6%
(Responses included in "Readers comment on NCs")
0-6 months: 12.3% 6-12 months: 23.1% 12-18 months: 9.2% 18-24 months: 4.6% 24-36 months: 3.1% I don't know: 16.9% NCs are not in our plans: 21.5% Never if I have my way: 9.2%
0-25: 46.3% 25-50: 12.2% 50-100: 7.3% 100-500: 14.6% 500-1,000: 12.2% More than 1,000: 7.3%
1 - 9: 20.0% 10 - 29: 29.2% 30 - 99: 16.9% 100 - 499: 26.2% Not applicable: 7.7%
1 - 9: 0.0% 10 - 29: 9.1% 30 - 99: 12.1% 100 - 499: 10.6% 500 - 1999: 13.6% 2000 - 9999: 30.3% more than 10,000: 18.2% Not applicable: 3.0% I don't know: 3.0%
Systems administrator: 30.3% Programmer or developer: 24.2% Network administrator: 6.1% Database administrator: 0.0% Systems analyst: 6.1% Webmaster: 0.0% Consultant: 10.6% Systems integrator: 12.1% Other technical professional: 3.0% Other manager: 4.5% Student: 1.5% Other: 1.5%
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