A small business version of Novell's Netware will be released in November in an effort to recapture the work-group level market for network operating systems. This comes amid a major project refresh cycle prompted by the refocus on intranet technologies. Senior vice-president and general manager of Novell's small business unit, Ed Bartos, said the new product would aim at companies with computer networks of less than 100 users and would be priced to compete with Microsoft's Windows NT Server 4.0, launched last week. Mr Bartos said the small version of Intranetware, codenamed Kayak, would also feature a full version of electronic messaging suite GroupWise 5.0. He said it would be a big attraction for computer networks where fewer than eight PCs were connected. Mr Bartos said Novell claimed a penetration of about 23 per cent in this small network market compared to its worldwide estimate of market share of between 60 and 70 per cent for sites larger than eight PCs. Artisoft's LANtastic and Microsoft's Windows NT are the other players in the small network category. 'Kayak is being positioned with the express purpose of attacking the small business marketplace,' Mr Bartos said. 'Essentially, in these networks with one site and less than 100 attached computers, any software purchase is a business buy and not a technology buy. 'We have to tailor Kayak so it is a very good solution for the small business.' He said small businesses, which made up of an estimated 90 per cent of enterprises worldwide, had special requirements because they rarely employed full-time information systems staff and treated IT investment purely on a cash-flow basis, rather than on a strategic return on investment basis. 'The first criticism of NetWare for this sector of the market is that it costs too much,' Mr Bartos said. 'The small business needs something that is cheap, fast and dirty but does the job.'