NetWare is a network operating system (NOS) and related support services environment created by Novell, Inc., and introduced to the market in the early 1980s. Then, networks were small and predominantly homogeneous; local-area network (LAN) workgroup communication was new; and the idea of a personal computer (PC) was just becoming popular.
Much of NetWare's networking technology was derived from Xerox Network Systems (XNS), a networking system created by Xerox Corporation in the late 1970s.
By the early 1990s, NetWare's NOS market share had risen to between 50 percent and 75 percent. With more than 500,000 NetWare networks installed worldwide and an accelerating movement to connect networks to other networks, NetWare and its supporting protocols often coexist on the same physical channel with many other popular protocols, including TCP/IP, DECnet, and AppleTalk.
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