Seventy per cent of information technology professionals feel Microsoft has a monopoly in PC operating systems, according to a Computerworld telephone survey.

However, 65 per cent of the 132 respondents also said that Microsoft's practices have fostered uniform software standards and compatibility.

Bill Nicholson, information systems director at Catellus Development, said: "They made their products so they integrated well, and that is what attracted companies to them."

Let’s stick together Less than one fifth (17 per cent) of the 132 respondents favour splitting Microsoft into separate corporations.

Paul Kirk, senior vice president of MIS at United Companies Financial, said: "Breaking up the company would hurt me and my business the most of any remedies. We like a single point of contact from a vendor, and it's easier to contact one company for site licenses for all desktop needs. Breaking-up Microsoft would mean I would go negotiating with new corporations for the products that were split off. And I wouldn't know the viability of those companies."

"The problem with breaking up Microsoft is that all you've done is create two Microsofts," added Robert Young, co-founder and chairman of Linux software firm Red Hat.

Slightly more than half of those surveyed (51 per cent) supported continued oversight of Microsoft's business operations, while 29 per cent suggested court-ordered restrictions on Microsoft's business operations.

The verdict, Monday, that Microsoft violated federal antitrust laws appears to have had little impact on users' views or purchasing plans regarding the company. Only 5 per cent reported a more negative view of Microsoft since the ruling, with 95 per cent saying their view of the company remains unchanged. And 95 per cent said their planned purchase of Microsoft products remains the same.

About 11 per cent said they might be more inclined to consider other desktop operating systems in the wake of the verdict, with Linux (73 per cent) most often cited.