Microsoft Windows NT-Based Management Solution Is Customers' Choice in Comparative Study

NCRI Identifies 315 Percent Investment Return Rate For Windows-Based Systems Using Systems Management Server

REDMOND, Wash. - March 15, 1999 - Microsoft Corp. today announced important research from Northeast Consulting Resources Inc. (NCRI) that found Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0 and Systems Management Server address customers' needs better than Novell's management solution. Based on a head-to-head comparison of Microsoft and Novell management solutions, NCRI found that Windows NT Server 4.0 with Systems Management Server provides the more scalable way to reduce the costs of change and configuration management for desktop and server systems based on the Windows operating system. The December 1998-January 1999 study concluded that Systems Management Server offers enterprise customers an average annual cost savings of $1,200 per desktop and an average investment return rate of 315 percent over five years.

Customers are asking for an integrated set of management tools that address the business problems of multisite enterprises with diverse Windows-based desktop and server systems. According to NCRI, using Windows NT Server and Systems Management Server to automate the software distribution function alone can save medium-sized enterprises well over $1,000 per year per desktop. Larger enterprises, those with 10,000 or more desktops, gain even greater benefits.

"Customers need to efficiently manage diverse Windows-based enterprise assets," said Theo Forbath, senior consultant at NCRI. "Of the two management solutions we evaluated, Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0 with Systems Management Server provides a greater value to customers today, particularly in those companies that have to support large numbers of desktops."

Beyond the significant cost savings, NCRI found that the enterprise capabilities of Systems Management Server, such as a fully distributed architecture and a WAN-aware distribution mechanism, provide a scalable solution for customers, enabling deployments of over 60,000 managed clients for some of the participants in the study.

"Nabisco moved from a Novell solution to Windows NT Server 4.0 and Systems Management Server," said Rich Burton, project manager for Windows NT management in the Nabisco information services department. "This combination has allowed us to manage and automate the conversion of 8,500 personal computers and realize substantial cost savings."

Announced last month and available now, Systems Management Server 2.0 includes the following key customer-requested features:

The full NCRI report can be found at

Pricing and Availability

Systems Management Server 2.0 is now available to distributors throughout the United States and Canada for an estimated price of $1,129 (U.S.) for the 10 client access license (CAL) version. Those interested in more information about Systems Management Server 2.0 and Windows management should visit


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