Microsoft Gains in Server Market

by admin March 28, 2006 at 10:39 am

Emboldened by a growing appetite for its products in the enterprise server market, Microsoft is launching an aggressive push in the education and state-and-local government markets.

And its got its eye on customers of Novell’s Netware (current and former) as part of its market share plan. A recent report from IDC showed that for the first time ever, there were more migrations from Unix to Windows than to any other operating system.

Perhaps trying to take thunder away from Novell’s BrainShare conference last week, Microsoft is bragging that it took 1.8 million accounts away from Novell in 2005 and a total of 3.3 million over the last two years.

According to Ryan Gavin, Microsoft’s director of platform strategies, this trend is the result of confusing signals Novell is sending the market.

While Novell strongly reiterated its commitment to supporting Netware “through at least 2015,” its focus is clearly on the Open Enterprise Server (OES), which is based on SUSE Linux.

Microsoft sees an opportunity to gain share of the government and education markets, as those institutions decide whether to stick with their Netware environments — knowing there will be no upgrades to that product in the offing — or upgrade to SUSE.

Moreover, Gavin thinks Novell’s two-pronged approach of bundling Netware with SUSE Linux is alienating customers.

“Their customer base is not buying their vision, and even Novell isn’t very clear about their own vision,” he told

“From a customer perspective, this is incredibly confusing.”

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