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Poll shows Bill Gates' popularity growing

Gates poll graphic January 23, 1998
Web posted at: 1:58 p.m. EST (1858 GMT)

(CNN) -- The popularity of Microsoft Corp. Chairman Bill Gates among Americans is growing, according to a CNN/Time magazine poll, and almost half of the computer users interviewed favor having the company become the dominant provider of Internet services.

The survey was conducted January 14-15 with 1,020 adults, including 648 people who use computers in their homes or offices. It found that computer users and the general public have a generally favorable view of the computer industry guru and his company.

Forty-two percent of those polled had a favorable opinion of Gates in 1998, compared to 31 percent in 1995. However, a slightly higher percent of people have an unfavorable view now than in 1995, 15 percent vs. 11 percent. Also, fewer Americans are unfamiliar with Gates (43 percent) than they were in 1995 (58 percent), survey results show.

A majority of computer users (52 percent) believe Microsoft's dominant role in the computer industry is good for consumers, and don't want the federal government to curtail the company's advantage over software providers, according to the poll findings.

Most of the survey had a sampling error of plus or minus 4 percentage points. The question on Gates' popularity had a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.


Microsoft's dominant role in the software industry
 
Computer Users
All Americans
Good for consumers
52%
46%
Bad for consumers
33%
30%

Sampling error: +/- 4% pts.
Source: CNN/Time poll




Should government reduce Microsoft's competitive advantage?
 
Computer Users
All Americans
Yes
32%
32%
No
60%
51%

Sampling error: +/- 4% pts.
Source: CNN/Time poll




If Microsoft were the dominant company for Internet services
 
Computer Users
All Americans
Good for consumers
52%
46%
Bad for consumers
33%
30%

Sampling error: +/- 4% pts.
Source: CNN/Time poll




Opinion of Bill Gates
 
Computer Users
All Americans
Favorable
52%
42%
Unfavorable
16%
15%
Unfamiliar
33%
43%

Sampling error: +/- 4% pts.
Source: CNN/Time poll




Opinion of Bill Gates (Now vs. 1995)
 
Now
1995
Favorable
42%
31%
Unfavorable
15%
11%
Unfamiliar
43%
58%

Sampling error: +/- 3% pts.
Source: CNN/Time poll

 
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