NT wins, Unix is dead, say Kiwi users

"Non-Microsoft PC operating systems ... are finished in the corporate world." With statements like this one, the latest Dataquest survey of usage patterns in the New Zealand IT environment is sure to stir up a hornet's nest. The question on PC operating systems asked managers to state current usage levels, and also to estimate usage levels for next year and also for 2003. Windows NT, not surprisingly, is the big winner, dominating by 2003 with nearly 50% of the market.

“Non-Microsoft PC operating systems ... are finished in the corporate world.”

With statements like this one, the latest Dataquest survey of usage patterns in the New Zealand IT environment is sure to stir up a hornet’s nest.

The survey, completed in March of this year, was sent out to 1200 New Zealand IT managers and had a response rate above 12%. The survey asked managers to report on “current and future usage of brands, technology and architectures”.

The question relating to PC operating systems asked managers to state current usage levels, and also to estimate usage levels for next year and also for 2003. Windows NT, not surprisingly, is the big winner, dominating by 2003 with nearly 50% of the market. Apple scores slightly over 2%, while Unix manages only 1% and OS/2 vanishes entirely. Currently, Windows 95 has just under 70% of the market, with Windows running on MS-DOS second and Windows NT third.

Hardware numbers were also asked for, and the big winner in the currently installed PC hardware category was Compaq, closely followed by Digital. Together they make up nearly 30% of installed PCs. IBM is third, with 11% and local company PC Direct has 9%. Hewlett-Packard has scored the number one slot in the past quarter for business PCs, according to IDC Research, but lists with only 3% here.

The survey asked about the size of New Zealand companies based on staff numbers. By far the largest company size was the 100 to 500 staff-member category, carrying 60% of respondents. Second at 22% were companies with 20 to 100 staff. This corresponds with IDC’s belief that the vast majority of New Zealand companies fall into the small to medium-sized enterprise model. The majority of respondents fell under the manufacturing banner (28%), with wholesale and retail the next largest on 18% and public administration third with 13%. Agriculture rated so lowly it was combined with the mining and communication sectors.

Packaged software is by far the largest source of applications among respondents — nearly 60% claimed new in-house applications would be packaged, versus around 20% developed in-house and a further 20% developed externally. Use of packaged applications will rise slightly by 2003, continuing a decade-long trend. The tools used in application development are largely Microsoft end-user tools. Visual Basic and Access account for 35% of the market, with FrontPage adding a further 6%. The survey says that Internet tools are not yet widely used and that few of the client-server development tools have ever taken off.

Perhaps least surprising, but most significant of all the survey’s findings, are the results that relate to the Internet. More than half of the organisations surveyed have Web sites and nearly half of those are considered “mature” developments. Intra-nets are also taking off — again, just on half of the respondents have an intranet in place today. The survey also says that “most organisations [are] beginning to experiment with e-commerce”. Only a handful of respondents claimed they would “never” be interested in the Internet — fewer than 1% saying they wouldn’t bother even with a pilot Web site.

Network protocols also point toward the Internet’s dominance. IP (Internet protocol) and TCP/IP dominate the market with a nearly 80% share today climbing to 90% by 2003, mostly at the expense of Novell’s IPX protocol, which falls from around 21% to just over 10%. This is not bad news for Novell, which offers pure IP in Netware 5.0.

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