Microsoft has maintained its lead over arch-rival Novell in the network operating systems battle after a majority of IT managers expressed their preference for Windows NT.
According to the sixth biannual Black Box Industry Survey based on feedback given by 1,200 UK IT professionals, 79 per cent of respondents said they would be using Microsoft's operating system in 12 months time.
The results correspond with the previous Black Box survey, which uncovered that 55 per cent of the IT managers questioned would look to Windows NT for their future operating system (PC Dealer, 1 October).
However, at the time of the latest survey, Windows NT was being used by 62 per cent of networking professionals, compared with 68 per cent of users who employed any version of Netware.
But, just 52 per cent of users anticipated installing a version of Netware in 12 months.
In terms of specific versions, 39 per cent of professionals are currently deploying Netware 4 with an increased 42 per cent of users anticipating installing the operating system in a year's time.
Although 51 per cent of users currently had Netware 3 installed on their system, the research revealed a drop to 19 per cent for future use.
Phil Cross, group marketing manager of business systems at Microsoft, said: 'Netware used to have a much bigger installed base because Novell had been shipping for a lot longer.' He added: 'The market has now moved on because people are not just looking at operating systems, they are also looking at the applications.'
Dominic Storey, director of technology at Novell, disputed the findings.
'People have been sloppy in filling out the survey,' he said, 'it is not representative.'
He added: 'A lot of people have the intention to install certain operating systems, but when the time comes their decision may have changed.'
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