Despite the industry hype, Windows NT Server will not take the leadership position in the networking market from Novell?s Netware until at least the end of 2001.
While Microsoft is ahead in terms of new sales, Novell has a massive installed base worldwide that is unlikely to move quickly to either Netware 5 or Windows 2000.
As a result, users do not need to fear that the investments they make in Netware bsed file, print and directory services will be outdated until at least the end of 2004, according to Neil MacDonald, Gartner Group analyst at the market research firm?s ?Windows NT in the Enterprise? conference in Palm Springs on Tuesday.
?Novell still has the market share lead for Netware, 3,4 and 5 combined, with between 50-51 per cent of the market, while NT only has a 29 per cent share. Novell will lose the lead by late 2001/early 2002 and later for larger companies, but decline is not the same as demise. There is no problem with the viability of investing in Netware 5.0 and industry support is still there. It?s no dead end,? he said.
However, the mistakes of the past have led to a lack of confidence among the supplier?s installed base and it has been unable to embrace the risk of moving to a new business model based around its Network Directory Services, even though the desire is there.
It has also shipped Netware 5 too late for large organisations to migrate immediately because they are now too busy focusing their resources on dealing with the Year 2000 problem, MacDonald said.
As a result, to boost revenues, Novell needs to invest in products outside of its traditional Netware product family. While it is starting to do this with offerings such as Zenworks that helped it grow last year, the missing piece of the puzzle is its lack of any attempt to come up with new products that would appeal to customers outside of its installed base.
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