Major players scoop bulk of PC World awards

Windows NT, ClearNet, Kodak, Lotus Notes, Compaq, Toshiba, PC Direct and Netscape were among the winners at the 1997 PC World Awards, held on Friday night at Auckland's Aotea Centre. The 59 hardware and software awards were decided by readers' votes, and announced at a ceremony attended by more than 400 industry personalities. After years of catch-up, Microsoft's Windows NT finally eclipsed Novell NetWare in the network operating system (server-based) category, and ClearNet was voted best Internet service provider with 23.1% of the vote, just sneaking past last year's winner, Xtra, which garnered 20.1% of the vote.

Windows NT, ClearNet, Kodak, Lotus Notes, Compaq, Toshiba, PC Direct and Netscape were among the winners at the 1997 PC World Awards, held on Friday night at Auckland’s Aotea Centre. The 59 hardware and software awards were decided by readers’ votes, and announced at a gala Academy Awards-style ceremony attended by more than 400 industry personalities.

After years of catch-up, Microsoft’s Windows NT finally eclipsed Novell NetWare in the network operating system (server-based) category, gaining 58.1% of readers’ votes to NetWare’s 35%.

ClearNet was voted best Internet service provider with 23.1% of the vote, just sneaking past last year’s winner, Xtra, which garnered 20.1% of the vote. 2

PC World magazine editor Chris Keall says ClearNet was a late entrant to the Internet race, but due to (or possibly because of) its long gestation period, “it has managed to avoid the technical hassles that beset other ISPs”. ClearNet also took best New Zealand Web site, ahead of Xtra and 7am News (@IDG and @PC World were not allowed to enter).

Business desktop PC was one of the tightest races ever, with long-time champ PC Direct (17.5%) fending off a strong challenge from Compaq, whose Deskpro line took 16.1% of the vote.

Compaq easily took network server, with its Proliant Series taking 42.1% of the vote ahead of Digital’s Prioris XL series (23.1%) and HP’s Netserver series (7.9%).

Local assemblers dominated the race for best home PC, won by the Cyrix-based Discovery 580 series, followed by machines from TL Systems and the late PC General.

In portables, Toshiba scooped the value notebook and power notebook categories by a healthy margin.

Kodak picked up the inaugural award for best digital camera with its midrange DC-120 (38.1%), followed by Casio’s QV series (19%) and Olympus’s Camedia 800L (14.3%).

Keall says digital camera sales are expected to boom from 3 million this year to 26 million in the year 2000, and used the occasion to announce the PC World Digital Photography Awards, to be held mid-1998.

In software, Lotus Notes 4.0 (39.6%) held onto its groupware title ahead of a surging Microsoft Outlook (33.3%). Microsoft swept most other titles, but did lose Web browser to Netscape (52.5% to 47.5%) and email to the Internet geeks’ favourite, Qualcomm Eudora Mail. Microsoft Internet Information Server took best Web server, Real Audio best plug-in.

The new handheld PC category was picked up by the Psion Series 3c with 32% of readers’ votes. US Robotics Palm Pilot was second on 22.7% of the vote, while the highest-placed Windows CE device was the Casio Cassiopeia on 16%.

Anti-virus software was a two-horse race, with McAfee taking 47.4% of the vote to Symantec Norton Antivirus’s 37.3%.

The star local developer of the night was Logical Methods, whose Prophet Series took best accounting software (midrange).

Full results are in the December issue of NZ PC World, now on newsstands.

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