Linux sees gains in the global server market

Servers running Linux have seen worldwide revenue rise 50% on the same period last year to US$743 million, with unit shipments rising 51.4%, according to analysts.

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By  Patrick Phelvin Published  November 27, 2003

Servers running Linux have seen worldwide revenue rise 50% on the same period last year to US$743 million, with unit shipments rising 51.4%, according to analysts.

Worldwide sales of all computer servers rose 2% in the third quarter from a year earlier, driven by demand for machines that use standard microprocessors such as those made by Intel and Advanced Micro Devices.

Worldwide server revenue was US$10.8 billion in the third quarter, the second straight quarterly increase, following nine quarters of decline during the economic downturn that began in 2000, according to figures released by IDC. Year-on-year revenue growth in the second quarter was a scant 0.2 percent.

Worldwide server unit shipments rose 20% from a year earlier, IDC said.

Sales of industry-standard servers using Intel-compatible, or so-called x86, processors rose 8.3% and while unit shipments increased 21.4% from a year ago, IDC said.

“Linux servers have demonstrated six consecutive quarters of year-on-year revenue growth, proving that they are not a flash-in-the-pan technology,” says Jean Bozman, research vice president in IDC’s server group.

The Windows server market also continued to grow, with worldwide revenue rising by 10.3% and unit shipments advancing 21.4%, accounting for US$3.4 billion in the third quarter. That was 31.7% of the total quarterly server revenue in the third quarter.

Windows sales were fueled by upgrades in the large Windows NT server installed base to Windows 2000 or Windows 2003, IDC said.
Again, sales of servers using proprietary versions of Unix, such as Solaris from Sun Microsystems, HP-UX from Hewlett-Packard and AIX from IBM, declined year on year, IDC said.

Unix server revenues were $4.1 billion in the quarter, a decline of 3.8%, which was the lowest rate of decline in seven consecutive quarters, IDC said. Driven by price competition to spur sales, Unix server shipments rose 4.3% from a year ago.

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