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NT's on tap

Windows NT finding its way into survey respondents' organizations

By Carolyn W.C. Wong

April  1996
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It seems Microsoft's Windows NT has already nestled itself into our readers' corporate computing environments. Or at least NT is in those who responded to SunWorld Online's March reader survey, where we asked readers about their plans or their companies' plans for Windows NT. Respondents report use Solaris 2 (50 percent) or Novell NetWare (30 percent) on most of their servers and Microsoft Windows and Windows 95 (74 percent) or Solaris 2 (24 percent) on their desktops.

(Note that since the survey was placed on a public Web page, the survey participants were a self-selected lot. The results, therefore, are not scientific.)

A significant chunk (45 percent) of the 324 respondents say NT is already in production in their departments now. 27 percent are in the evaluation or testing phase, and 12 percent are considering evaluation. Meanwhile, 15 percent have no NT plans. Beyond the departmental level, 52 percent tell us that their entire organization has NT currently in production while 22 percent are in the evaluation and testing stage. 10 percent and 12 percent are considering an evaluation or have no plans for NT, respectively.

How exactly are these departments using NT? On the server operating system front, most use NT as a file server (48 percent) or as a general-purpose file and application server (45 percent). This is closely followed by use as a database server (35 percent) and as a server of shrink-wrapped applications (34 percent). As a desktop operating system, 46 percent use NT for programming like custom software development or for general purposes such as personal productivity (46 percent). Interestingly, 25 percent have no plans to use NT as a desktop OS, while another 26 use it as a technical desktop for CAD and other engineering functions.

Those who have plans for NT as a server OS or a desktop OS think its role will mostly be in serving Windows clients (66 percent). 39 percent see it anchoring new projects, and 35 percent believe it will replace NetWare servers. 23 percent even envision it replacing Unix servers. But this of course is not the universal belief -- 60 don't think NT will supplant Unix.

They feel NT will be most popular in small shops (79 percent), but will also be widely used in large organizations (65 percent). Its use will soar in commercial settings (77 percent) and as a personal productivity desktop (55 percent). However, it's a toss up when it comes to NT's prominence in technical sites. 42 percent don't believe it will take off in this space, while another 43 think it will. Another point of contention is the existence of multiple versions of Unix. 60 percent see the availability of multiple versions as a weakness of Unix, and 37 think multiple versions are one of Unix's strengths. At least one thing is fairly certain: 69 percent don't consider NT "open."

Who is the most likely candidate to hurt NT over time? 45 percent say Novell, while Intel (42 percent) and Digital (25 percent) will help NT in the future.
--Carolyn W.C. Wong


SunWorld Online March 1996 Reader Survey Results

Tell us about your plans for Windows NT

Number of respondents: 324
as of 3:00 p.m. on March 28, 1996

  1. Does your department use NT now?
        No, and no plans to either:                       14.6% 
        Considering an evaluation:                        11.8% 
        Evaluation/test under way:                        27.4% 
        In production now:                                45.2% 
        I don't know:                                      0.9% 
  2. Does your organization (beyond your department) use NT now?
        No, and no plans to either:                       12.1% 
        Considering an evaluation:                        10.2% 
        Evaluation/test under way:                        22.0% 
        In production now:                                51.9% 
        I don't know:                                      3.7% 
  3. What are your department's likely uses of Windows NT? (select all that apply)
        As a server operating system
          No plans to use NT as a server:                 20.4% 
          File server:                                    48.1% 
          Server of shrink-wrapped applications:          34.4% 
          Server of custom applications:                  30.3% 
          General-purpose file & application server:      45.2% 
          Database server:                                35.0% 
          Retail POS server:                               2.5% 
          Other server:                                   25.8% 
        As a desktop operating system
          No plans:                                       25.3% 
          Technical desktop (CAD, engineering, etc.):     26.3% 
          Scientific (Research, number-crunching):        14.6% 
          Financial (Trading, analysis):                  11.0%
          Graphics (Animation, graphic arts):             15.3% 
          Programming (Custom software development):      46.1%
          General purpose (Personal productivity):        45.8% 
          Other:                                           3.2% 
  4. If you answered something other than "No plans" to the above two questions, please answer the following: What role will NT take in your organization? (select all that apply)
        Replace NetWare server:                           35.2% 
        Replace Vines server:                              5.5% 
        Replace Unix server:                              23.3% 
        Serve Windows clients:                            65.6% 
        Extend/replace proprietary computer:              19.4% 
        Anchor new project:                               39.1% 
  5. Offer your opinions on the following statements:
          Windows NT will supplant Unix
          Agree:                                          21.4% 
          Disagree:                                       59.7% 
          Don't know:                                     18.8% 
        Windows NT will be popular in small shops
          Agree:                                          79.2% 
          Disagree:                                       10.4% 
          Don't know:                                     10.4% 
        Windows NT will be popular in large organizations
          Agree:                                          65.0% 
          Disagree:                                       17.4% 
          Don't know:                                     17.7% 
        Windows NT will be popular in commercial settings
          Agree:                                          77.0% 
          Disagree:                                       10.2% 
          Don't know:                                     12.8% 
        Windows NT will be popular in technical sites
          Agree:                                          43.4% 
          Disagree:                                       41.5% 
          Don't know:                                     15.2% 
        Windows NT will be popular as a personal productivity desktop
          Agree:                                          54.6% 
          Disagree:                                       29.7% 
          Don't know:                                     15.7% 
        Availability of multiple versions of Unix is a strength to Unix
          Agree:                                          37.0% 
          Disagree:                                       53.2% 
          Don't know:                                      9.8% 
        Availability of multiple versions of Unix is a weakness to Unix
          Agree:                                          60.2% 
          Disagree:                                       30.6% 
          Don't know:                                      9.2% 
        Windows NT fits the definition of the term "open"
          Agree:                                          12.6% 
          Disagree:                                       68.9% 
          I don't know:                                    6.6% 
          I don't care:                                   12.6% 
  6. In time, which of the following will NT hurt most?
        Apple:                                             8.5% 
        Banyan:                                            3.5% 
        Digital:                                           0.0% 
        Fujitsu:                                           0.0% 
        HP:                                                0.3% 
        IBM:                                               4.7% 
        Intel:                                             2.5% 
        Novell:                                           45.3% 
        SCO:                                               6.3% 
        SGI:                                               1.3% 
        Sun Microsystems:                                 15.8% 
        None of the above:                                 5.4% 
        I don't know:                                      6.3% 
  7. In time, which of the following will NT help most?
        Apple:                                             1.3% 
        Banyan:                                            0.3% 
        Digital:                                          24.9% 
        Fujitsu:                                           0.0% 
        HP:                                                1.0% 
        IBM:                                               2.6% 
        Intel:                                            41.9% 
        Novell:                                            2.6% 
        SCO:                                               0.3% 
        SGI:                                               0.6% 
        Sun Microsystems:                                  3.2% 
        None of the above:                                 9.3% 
        I don't know:                                     12.1% 
  8. Which OS are you using...
        ...on most of your servers?
          Solaris 1/SunOS 4.1.x:                          27.8% 
          Solaris 2:                                      50.0% 
          HP-UX:                                           8.5% 
          AIX:                                             9.5% 
          IRIX:                                            4.9% 
          Digital Unix:                                    2.6%
          Windows NT:                                     25.5% 
          Novell NetWare:                                 29.7% 
          Other:                                           5.9% 
        ...on most of your desktops?
          Solaris 1/SunOS 4.1.x:                          16.9% 
          Solaris 2:                                      23.5% 
          HP-UX:                                           4.7% 
          AIX:                                             3.8% 
          IRIX:                                            3.4% 
          Digital Unix:                                    0.9% 
          MS Windows & Win 95:                            73.7% 
          DOS (with no Windows):                           6.9% 
          Windows NT:                                     16.9% 
          OS/2:                                            4.1% 
          Macintosh:                                      16.3% 
          Other:                                           5.6% 
  9. Which best describes your job title?
        Systems administration:                           30.4% 
        Programmer:                                       17.4% 
        Network administrator:                             6.5% 
        Database administrator:                            1.9%
        Webmaster:                                         1.6% 
        Consultant:                                        7.5% 
        Systems integrator:                               12.1% 
        Other technical professional:                     10.6% 
        Other manager:                                     6.5% 
        Student:                                           2.5% 
        Other:                                             3.1% 

Also see the file " Readers comment on Windows NT" for more.

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