Windows still rules government OS world

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Windows Server 2003 has risen to capture the largest slice of the base in 2005

The landscape of network operating systems in government looks a lot different than it did two years ago. Or does it?

The mix of versions in use has changed significantly since 2003, but one thing remains the same: Microsoft Windows still rules the roost, with 80 percent of the installed base.

Two years ago, when we last surveyed readers about network operating systems, Microsoft Windows Advanced Server 2000 was the dominant OS, with 50 percent of the sample's base. In the latest GCN telephone survey, Advanced Server 2000's share dipped to 28 percent.

Windows Server 2003 has risen to capture the largest slice of the base in the 2005, with 37 percent, compared to 4 percent in 2003.

Windows NT 4.0 Server's share, 25 percent in 2003, slipped to 15 percent this year, and most of the current NT 4.0 users (67 percent) we talked with said they planned to upgrade to Advanced Server 2003. That's with good reason'Microsoft this year ended its support cycle of NT 4.0, which was introduced nearly a decade ago.

As for non-Windows OSes, NetWare from Novell Inc. is still hanging in there, though its base in the GCN survey has dropped from 7 percent in 2003 to 6 percent this year.

Unix use remained the same at 7 percent, and Linux doubled its still-minute segment to 4 percent this year from 2 percent in 2003.

Only 3 percent of current Windows users said their agencies are very likely to migrate to a Linux environment in the future; 11 percent called such a move somewhat likely. Eighty-two percent rejected altogether the notion of a shift to Linux.

On the client end, Windows desktop OSes prevailed, with XP professional accounting for 68 percent of the systems in use, followed by Windows 2000 professional at 24 percent.

On the hardware side, Dell Computer Corp.'s servers held sway with 57 percent of the base in the sample. Hewlett-Packard Co. servers came in a distant second at 24 percent.

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