Unix-based environments saw a modest 15 percent growth, according to preliminary results of a report from IDC, about the same rate of growth it had between 1995 and 1996.
NT experienced most of its growth in the so called departmental servers serving 20 to 50 people, according to IDC research manager Jean Bozman.
"Unix will continue to grow," said Bozman. "Where Unix really shines is in the areas of running large corporate databases" and other high-end corporate computing technologies such as multiprocessor servers, she said, noting that NT 5.0 Enterprise edition is expected to better address this market than NT 4.0.
IBM OS/2 and Novell NetWare shipments declined in 1997, by 34.5 percent and 9.4 percent, respectively.
The overall market grew 10.8 percent from 1996 to 1997, according to the results, which is less than half the rate of growth from 1995 to 1996. 1996 saw an unusually high demand because of the rapid growth in sale for Internet servers.
Microsoft shipped 1.3 million units in 1997, up from 732,000 in 1996 and 393,000 in 1995. Unix shipments totaled 717,000, NetWare shipments totaled 900,000, and IBM shipped OS/2 226,000 units.
IDC's full report for 1997 will be ready in the spring.