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February 22, 2006

Windows, Linux move up in 2005 server sales rankings

Posted by David Hunter at 2:09 PM ET.

This week both Gartner and IDC announced their server sales rankings for 2005 and there was a variety of news. Stephen Shankland at CNET:

Windows narrowly bumped Unix in 2005 to claim the top spot in server sales for the first time, according to a new report from IDC.

Computer makers sold $17.7 billion worth of Windows servers worldwide in 2005 compared with $17.5 billion in Unix servers, IDC analyst Matthew Eastwood said of the firm’s latest Server Tracker market share report. “It’s the first time Unix was not top overall since before the Tracker started in 1996.”

And in another first, fast-growing Linux took third place, bumping machines with IBM’s mainframe operating system, z/OS. Linux server sales grew from $4.3 billion in 2004 to $5.3 billion in 2005, while mainframes dropped from $5.7 billion to $4.8 billion over the same period, Eastwood said.

On the hardware side, Shelley Solheim at InfoWorld:

Worldwide server revenue rose in 2005 driven largely by increased sales of x86-based servers, according to figures released by market research firms Gartner and IDC Research this week.

Worldwide server revenue in 2005 grew 4.5 percent to $51.7 billion, while server shipments grew 12.7 percent to 7.6 million units from the previous year, according to Gartner. IDC estimates revenue grew 4.4 percent to $51.3 billion, while shipments grew 11.6 percent to 7 million servers.

For the 4th quarter, Gartner had somewhat slower growth year to year while IDC estimated a slight decline.

Although the two research firms’ numbers vary, the overall message was the same: lower-end servers based on x86 microprocessors from Intel and Advanced Micro Devices continue to outpace sales of midrange and higher-end enterprise servers.

Revenue for the x86 server market grew 11 percent year-over-year to $25.7 billion, while shipments were up 14.3 percent to 7 million units, according to Gartner. Revenue for RISC-Itanium Unix servers remained about flat year-over-year, increasing 0.5 percent to $15.4 billion, while shipments were down 5.3 percent to 460,000 units, said Gartner.

IBM continued to lead the server market with 32.1 percent revenue share followed by Hewlett-Packard, at 28.2 percent, Dell, with 10.5 percent and Sun Microsystems Inc. with 9.6 percent share, according to Gartner. IDC reported similar figures, with IBM accounting for 32.9 percent of the market, HP with 27.7 percent, Dell with 10.3 percent and Sun with 9.5 percent.

Jeffrey Burt also has more at eWeek.

None of the above are really surprising – they reflect longstanding trends in server software and hardware commoditization. Windows would have reached first place some time ago if not for Linux which takes server OS commoditization one step further.

Filed under AMD, Commoditization, Coopetition, Dell, HP, Hardware, IBM, Intel, Itanium, Linux, OS - Server, Open Source, Sun, Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2

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