Windows 98 is making scarcely a splash among vendors or users.
Hewlett-Packard anticipates little demand from the corporate sector for Windows 98, with most customers waiting for NT 5.0.
"They've got other things on their minds at the moment," says PC products marketing manager Joanna Burgess, alluding to the economic problems in the region. She's seen very little interest in the product from the corporate market, with only one person asking for further information.
Dell general manager Ross Allen believes it will be business as usual after the launch. "It might impact in the non-corporate market but my only concern would be if it didn't ship on time. That could point to some other things at Microsoft." Gerrit Bahlman, Massey University's head of computing, says the university is looking at Windows NT rather than Windows 98. His perception — partly based on Microsoft's own publicity — is that Windows 98 is designed for the home market and doesn't provide the level of corporate integration that a product like NT does.
Massey University has a number of Windows 3.1 users, as well as Windows 95 users, and number of NT users is growing. The university's computer laboratories are moving towards NT, straight from Windows 3.1, skipping Windows 95 and 98 all together.
This is partly because the level of security required in the laboratories could not be achieved in Windows 95.
Garry Fissenden, general manager of IS at ASB Bank, also downplays the importance of the Windows 98 launch for corporates.
"We've just upgraded everyone here to either Windows NT or, if their machines aren't up to it, Windows 95." Fissenden believes ASB Bank would look more towards NT in the future, once it has upgraded the hardware.
Microsoft positions Windows 98 as a consumer product and recommends corporate users wait for NT 5.0.