NT buying plans slide as users await V5.0

IT managers' intentions to buy or upgrade Windows NT are down, according to an IDC survey. IT managers expecting to purchase NT 4.0 or 5.0 in the next six months dropped from 30.5% last quarter to 23.7% this quarter. The report goes on to say: "It will be interesting to see if NT can maintain its current market share".

IT managers’ intentions to buy or upgrade Windows NT are down, according to an IDC survey.

IT managers expecting to purchase NT 4.0 or 5.0 in the next six months dropped from 30.5% last quarter to 23.7% this quarter. The report goes on to say: “It will be interesting to see if NT can maintain its current market share”.

But Microsoft marketing manager Guy Haycock is quick to point out that this is only a slowing down in purchasing rather than a change in the overall trend. “Market share will continue to rise. It might not rise as fast, because of perceived delays in NT 5.0, but it will still continue to rise.”

IDC country manager Dinesh Kumar says delays in NT 5.0 will push back the server market purchasing cycle. “From the day [NT 5.0] hits the market, people are saying they will evaluate it for six months and then look to take it on board. That slows everything down.”

The index, a survey of 300 organisations throughout New Zealand, focused mainly on “larger organisations” from IDC’s database of businesses, government and tertiary education institutions. Larger organisations were considered more likely to purchase a greater number of PCs. The 300 respondents reported an installed base of 48,524 PCs in total.

The PC server hardware market is, conversely, opening up, with Compaq still dominating mindshare but slipping for the second quarter in a row, down from 35% to 32.2%. Compaq has a policy of not commenting on surveys before it has seen them.

Hewlett-Packard’s network marketing manager, Joanna Burgess, believes the increase in those consumers who don’t know which products they will buy, up from 5% to 11.1%, reflects the mood of the server market in New Zealand.

“Compaq used to have more than 50% share of the [server] market and now it has 30-odd.” Burgess believes the Compaq-Digital merger may also shake the market up.

“A lot of people who would have bought Digital servers are now probably in the ‘don’t know’ category. They are looking around rather than just buying Compaq.”

Locally assembled clones take a hit in the survey. Only PC Direct makes the short list of brands users would consider buying in the next six months. Compaq dominates with 25.1%, down from last quarter’s 29.5% result.

“The resurgence by these [local] vendors identified in one sector of the market is easily nullified by poor performances in other sectors,” says the report.

PC Direct has recently been restructured to improve its focus on the business sector of the market. Rowan Schaaf, business development manager, says the PC industry in New Zealand has always been tough, not just for the local manufacturers.

“The only constant is that of change and until you come to grips with that you have problems.” He believes PC Direct’s business division will be better suited to dealing with that end of the market.

Apple does not fare well in the survey — few businesses are buying Apple machines and the MacOS falls from 0.4% to zero.

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