Novell is claiming victory in the network operating systems market, despite the challenge from Microsoft's Windows NT.
New figures from market research firm Spikes Cavell seem to confirm Novell's dominance of the UK corporate market and indicate its market share is still growing. Data from Spikes Cavell's ongoing monitoring programme of the IT industry, covering 3,500 organisations whose annual turnover exceeds #30 million, gives NetWare 81% of the UK corporate market, up from 79% in January.
In addition, the study predicted Novell will retain its dominance with 69% of respondents saying their network strategy would be based on Novell in the future.
"These are tremendous figures," said Tom Schuster, managing director of Novell UK, Ireland and Africa. "It's great to have confirmation of what we've been suspecting - that we've been gaining market share among corporates, despite the hype surrounding NT. People may listen to the hype, but they vote with their wallets."
Spikes Cavell's report reveals the size of the installed base of competing network operating systems. Companies were asked whether Novell's NetWare was their corporate standard - meaning that many of those identified as Novell customers could have some NT servers on their networks.
Graham Opie, author of the Spikes Cavell report, said the rival operating systems "are living in a complementary rather than a conflicting environment".
He added that although Microsoft has increased its market share, "it is manifest that Novell has not been losing ground".
Microsoft disputed the findings. Mark Hassall, Windows NT product manager at Microsoft UK, said he preferred to cite figures from another market research company, Romtec, which measure the sales of NT and NetWare through the channel, rather than their installed base. Romtec's findings show that for the third quarter of this year, Windows NT had 43% cent against NetWare's 49%, taking into upgrades into account.
"This data shows a clear swing from NetWare to Windows NT Server," Hassall said. "Clearly we have a long way to go to overhaul the installed base of NetWare - but the momentum is on our side."
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