The 2014 RISC OS Survey

This was the second survey run by RISCOSitory on the new RISC OS Awards website, alongside the 2012/2013 awards poll. Apart from the initial receipt of the entries being on a Windows computer, the original processing was carried out on a Raspberry Pi running RISC OS, using Fireworkz, Draw, Artworks2, and ConvImgs. The pie charts have since been updated on an ARMX6, using PipeDream, Draw, Artworks2, and ConvImgs, and the way the numbers have been presented has also been changed.

The idea of combining a survey with an annual awards poll should, in theory, provide a picture of how the RISC OS community looks, and allow developers and companies involved in the RISC OS platform to keep what they offer relevant - especially considering that it is an undeniable fact that the number of RISC OS users is low in the extreme.

With that in mind, as mentioned in the Awards results, at around 100 the number of people who voted in the awards and took part in the survey was significantly lower than the previous one. The RISC OS community isn't a large one, which is an obvious factor in low numbers in generally, and for this particular year it is likely that people were put off taking part due to the nature of the Awards Poll, which didn't offer any options this time, and instead allowed people to suggest categories.

Despite the low number of entries, though, compiling the results into meaningful figures still needed to be done - but it needs to be stressed that the number of survey results completed is low enough that it may not be statistically representative - even less so than it was for the 2012/13 result.

In general, however, while not everyone who took part answered every question, instead leaving the "I'd rather not say" option selected, the number doing this for each question was very low. These are obviously not counted in the results below.

Update (August 2020): As noted above, the way the results are presented has been changed. Firstly, the various charts, following a change of procedure in subsequent years; these are now produced from PipeDream, rather than Fireworkz, because it seems to generate smaller images but with slightly larger text. Secondly, the percentages have now been rounded, rather than shown to two decimal places. And thirdly, the various options and percentages are now presented in tables, which makes them easier to read. Finally, any accompanying text has been removed from each option.

The third column in each table is the number of percentage points the result has changed by since the previous year.

The 2014 RISC OS Survey Results

Question 1: How many RISC OS systems do you own?

Pie chart showing typical numbers of RISC OS computers owned.
Typical numbers of RISC OS computers owned.
Number PercentageChange
None 0% -1%
One 7% -1%
Two 16% -2%
Three 19% -1%
Four 16% -1%
Five+ 42% +6%

Question 2: And of those, how many are in regular or semi-regular use?

Pie chart showing typical numbers of RISC OS computers in use.
Typical numbers of RISC OS computers in use.
Number PercentageChange
None 5% -2%
One 30% +3%
Two 32% +3%
Three 24% +1%
Four 7% -2%
Five+ 2% -3%

Question 3: Which version of RISC OS do you use most?

Pie chart showing a breakdown of which versions of RISC OS are most used.
The most used versions of RISC OS.
Version PercentageChange
RISC OS 2.0 0% -
RISC OS 3.0 4% +3%
RISC OS 3.5 3% -
RISC OS 4.0 7% -
RISC OS 4.2 8% -6%
RISC OS 5.0 68% +3%
RISC OS 6.0 10% -
Note: The options given for this question represent 'base' versions of RISC OS, and people were asked to specify the closest version below the one they use most - so people using Select and Adjust, for example, would have selected RISC OS 4.2.

Question 4: What is your main platform for using RISC OS?

Pie chart showing a breakdown of which platforms are used to run RISC OS.
The platforms used most for RISC OS.
Platform PercentageChange
Raspberry Pi-based 20% -2%
BeagleBoard-based 13% -2%
Pandaboard-based 13% +3%
IyonixPC 18% -1%
RiscPC 14% -6%
A7000 0% -1%
VirtualAcorn/RiscPC 8% -1%
RPCEmu 9% +8%
Other 5% +2%

Question 5: How long have you been a RISC OS user?

Pie chart showing how long people have been using RISC OS
How long people have been RISC OS users.
How long PercentageChange
Since Acorn were around 88% +4%
Two to fifteen years 11% -3%
Less than two years 1% -1%

Question 6: By choice, do you use any platforms other than RISC OS?

Pie chart showing whether people use another platform (by choice)
Whether people choose to use
another OS as well as RISC OS
Yes or no PercentageChange
Yes 75% -15%
No 25% +15%

Question 7: If so, which operating system?

Pie chart showing which other platforms are used by RISC OS users
The other OS most used by choice.
Most used other OS PercentageChange
Windows 56% +3%
MacOS 12% -5%
Linux-based 26% -
Other 6% +2%

Question 8: On what processor do you use that operating system?

Pie chart showing the processor on which people use their other OS
The processors used for the other
operating system.
Processor used PercentageChange
ARM 5% -2%
Intel/AMD 91% -
Other 4% +2%

Question 9: And do you use it more than RISC OS?

Pie chart showing whether people use their other platforms more or less than RISC OS.
Is that other OS used more or less than RISC OS?
Amount used PercentageChange
More than RISC OS 41% -
About the same 29% -
Less than RISC OS 30% -

Question 10: In which age range do you fall?

Pie chart showing the age range of typical RISC OS users.
The age of RISC OS users.
Age range PercentageChange
Below 20 0% -
20-29 1% -5%
30-39 17% -
40-49 23% +1%
50-59 13% -3%
60 or over 46% +7%

Question 11: Are you male or female?

Pie chart showing the genders of RISC OS users.
Are RISC OS users male or female?
Gender PercentageChange
Male 97% -2%
Female 3% +2%