Linux Server Sales Show Momentum

The Linux operating system will account for 29 percent of units shipped into the worldwide server market in 2008, up from 12 percent last year, according to predictions published by the IDC research firm on Wednesday.

Linux will take $9.7 billion from the $60.8 billion market when measured by revenue, according to IDC.

Servers running the Windows operating system will account for $22.7 billion of the market. The company has noted the increasing influence of Linux in the server market.

In fact, the market presence of Linux is being felt on some longtime players. Sun recently announced it would develop an open source version of its Solaris OS to compete more effectively with Linux servers.

Overall Market Jumps

IDC forecasts that the worldwide market for server hardware will grow at 3.8 percent per year for the next five years, jumping from $53 billion in 2004 to $60.8 billion in 2008. Growth will be strongest in central and eastern Europe and the Asia Pacific region, both of which are expected to grow more than 6.5 percent, year-over-year, until 2008, IDC predicts.

Though Windows systems will account for just 37 percent of the 2008 server market, when measured by dollars spent, they will account for 60 percent of the units shipped, according to IDC's research. This is a slight drop in market share from the 63 percent of units shipped IDC reported for 2003.

Sales of blade systems are also expected to grow rapidly, according to IDC. By 2008, blade shipments are expected to reach $9 billion, or 29 percent of server units shipped. Blades accounted for just 4 percent of the server market in 2003, the research firm says.

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