Microsoft is poised to extend its market lead from the desktop to the boardroom, via business applications running on NT.
This is the conclusion of a new report from analysts Forrester Research, which estimates that 60 per cent of enterprise applications will be NT-based and come from Microsoft or its partners by 2001.
A similar pattern of success emerges for Windows NT - 54 per cent of those questioned currently use the operating system. But more importantly for the software giant, when asked to imagine what they?ll be using in 2001, 84 per cent of interviewees say they?ll be using NT.
The report questioned IT executives in 50 large companies, vendors and integrators.
Based on the findings, Forrester predicts that the software giant will dominate enterprise computing not through the traditional route of selling and servicing its own applications but by using third party package vendors to push its NT and SQL database servers.
Other key trends to watch out for, according to the report, are an increasing number of Microsoft partnerships and a growing interoperability between Microsoft and other applications - making it easier to deploy applications on NT than on Unix servers.
Mid-tier applications houses such as Peoplesoft and JD Edwards are likely to be squeezed out of the market ?as they don?t have the market share or the partnership to establish de facto standards", the report argues.
Commenting on the report, a spokesman for Oracle - Microsoft?s main rival in the market - said: ?Microsoft isn't going to sell or offer support for its applications so it's not offering anything new. I also think it'll find it hard to increase its market share with such a complicated operating system.?
But he agreed that the number of players in the market is likely to shrink: ?These days you either need to be an 800lb gorilla or have a niche market,? he said .
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