The x86 server market in the UK has shrunk after financial services firms, the automotive industry and the public sector held off spending in the first quarter.
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A year ago, UK suppliers sold 108,000 units, but in Q1 2009 shipments fell 26% to 74,000 according to market watcher IDC.
"The UK saw one of the steepest declines in shipments across Europe," said Nathaniel Martinez, programme director for European storage research at IDC.
A reliance by suppliers on sectors that were particularly hard pressed by the recession caused sales to dry up, and even the public purse - aside from projects in the NHS - remained firmly shut.
The x86 segment of the server market - more than 90% of total shipments - declined 31%, and the Unix segment declined nearly 50%.
The good news, according to IDC, is that businesses cannot hold off spending past this year and budgets will start to free from 2010, driven by efficiency gains, assisted by virtualisation, to cut power usage and management costs.
A version of this story originally appeared on MicroScope.co.uk.