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Microsoft will take a long time to get a grip on the market for enterprise software, SAP boss Henning Kagerman says.

Henning Kagermann, chief executive at Europe's largest software firm, believes Chinese and Indian competitors will present a bigger threat. Despite Oracle's recent takeover of PeopleSoft, and Microsoft's aborted talks with SAP, Kagermann does not think there will be much consolidation in the market. "I don't think there will be consolidation among the big players...Microsoft is in our business already, through its small business software, but it will take them a long time to bridge the gap with the big players," he said, the FT reports.

According to Kagerman, SAP has benefited from the Oracle-PeopleSoft takeover: "Oracle made its offer to PeopleSoft 18 months ago. In these 18 months, SAP has gained six per cent market share and Oracle and PeopleSoft have lost four per cent where we overlap."

Talking to analysts in New York he said 2005 will be a year of peak investment for SAP. It is hiring 3,000 new staff and expects licence revenues to grow at 10- 12 per cent this year. ®

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