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While Windows NT* continues to gain ground in European
companies, it is still mainly used for office automation and
file-and-print applications, and emerging for business
applications, according to a new European survey by
International Data Corporation (IDC).

User intentions to migrate their core business applications
currently running on S/390, Unix, or OS/400 to NT are still
modest, says the IDC study, "The Challenge of NT's
Transition from Office to Enterprise."

In conducting the survey at the request of IBM, IDC polled
849 small, medium, and large companies in September in
European countries including Denmark, France, Germany,
Italy, and the U.K.

Calling the decision for NT adoption "no longer a passionate
issue" either for users or for vendors, IDC says that NT
users praise the operating system for its ease of use and
broad availability of applications. The study also
identifies these areas where NT should develop to facilitate
its transition into a core enterprise operating system:
high-performance middleware, allowing NT to run
mission-critical applications and connect with existing
information systems; ease of integration, security,
scalability, and manageability; skills and vendors needed to
integrate complete NT solutions into the enterprise.

IDC reports that the market is "wide open" for NT suppliers
capable of responding, and notes that companies such as IBM
are well-positioned to become "complete solution providers,
especially in the e-business context." "These positive
considerations are even higher for surveyed companies having
multi-OS architectures which, as we have seen, are in the
majority," said IDC.

Key findings of the IDC study include:

- 89% of the respondents use, or plan to use, Windows NT
within the next 12 months.

- Nearly 80% of sites surveyed rely on multiple operating
systems, with 10% NT-only sites, and 11% other OS-only
sites.

- 61% of respondents said they had no application migration
plans from other OS to Windows NT in the coming 12 months.

- 70% of respondents use NT for office applications,
compared to just 23% who use it for industry-specific
software.

- e-business applications such as Web transactions require
an operating system that can link to core business
applications.

- NT users rate the OS highly on ease of use and
applications, but express desire for improved middleware and
integration.

- The market is "wide open" for large-scale NT solution
providers as no vendor has dominant mindshare.

IDC said the study was designed to provide an in-depth
understanding for the rate of progression of the Windows NT
operating system, the factors driving or inhibiting market
development, and the application context.

According to the IDC study, the position of Unix is
potentially threatened by NT coming from "loosely structured
applications and connectivity services." But Unix is also
"relatively well protected" by its strong integration with
business applications and its key relationship as the
preferred OS for database management systems (DBMS)
applications.

IDC concludes by noting that users "strongly desire"
complete NT solutions, meaning they do not want to spend too
many resources on partial solutions for Windows NT
administration and middleware tools. At present, the
mindshare of vendors and partners able to supply complete NT
solutions is "highly fragmented," IDC said.

Users cited vendor names in relation to suppliers of servers
and software tools, IDC said. It is noteworthy that IBM was
cited as among the few suppliers of complete NT solutions.
"These scores indicate that the market is wide open for a
large company able to bring credibility, solid integration
methodology, and an easy-to-implement portfolio of
management and middleware tools," IDC said.

About IDC

International Data Corporation is the information technology
industry's most comprehensive resource on worldwide IT
markets, trends, products, vendors, and geographies. IDC
provides data, analysis and advisory services to the world's
leading IT suppliers as well as IS professionals in finance,
insurance, entertainment, advertising, consumer goods and
publishing. IDC's research and opinions are based on the
results of more than 300,000 end-user surveys, in-depth
competitive analysis, broad technology coverage, and
strategic analysis. IDC is committed to providing global
research with local content through its 500 analysts in more
than 40 countries worldwide. Additional information on IDC
can be found on its Web site at http://www.idc.com.

About IBM

IBM is the world's largest information technology company,
with 80 years of leadership in helping businesses innovate.
IBM offers the widest range of applications, middleware and
operating systems for all types of computing platforms,
including Windows NT, allowing customers to take full
advantage of the new era of e-business. The fastest way to
get more information about IBM is through the IBM home page
at http://www.ibm.com

* Windows NT is a registered trademark of Microsoft
Corporation

IBM provides more solutions or Windows NT than any other
company. See them in action at the "IBM Expo for Windows
NT," touring 16 cities in six European countries from
October to December 1998. You will discover hundreds of
solutions covering software, hardware, services and
technical support. Many of these solutions are in use today
by 1,200 of the top 5,000 companies worldwide. For further
information, contact www.ibm.com/uk/expo98

This release and other information from IBM are available
electronically on NEWSdesk, the online IT news network. If
you are not currently accessing the service, it can be
reached on the Internet at: http://www.newsdesk.com, or
dial-up software can be obtained by calling +44 (0) 115 9
405300.

-Ends-

Contact: Andrew Goldman

IBM UK Corporate Communications Manager

Tel: 0171 202 5945

E-mail: Andrew_Goldman@uk.ibm.com

or: Andrew Smith

For IBM

Tel: 01753 790700

E-mail: asmith@brodeuraplus

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