The worldwide database market declined by 7% in 2002, with licence revenue dropping from $7.1bn to $6.6bn.
Industry analyst Gartner cited reduced IT spending as a reason for the drop, although it noted that many organisations are furthering development of major database applications.
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IBM, Oracle and Microsoft continue to hold the most market share, with IBM jumping from 33.9% in 2001 to 36.2% in 2002.
Oracle's share during these two years fell from 39.7% in 2001 to 33.9% in 2002. Microsoft increased its share from 14.3% to 18%.
Revenues were down for both IBM and Oracle. Oracle's revenues dropped by 20.5%, from $2.83bn in 2001 to $2.24bn in 2002. Oracle, however, maintained its lead on the Windows server and Unix platforms, with 43% of that market.
IBM's revenues dropped 0.8% from $2.41bn in 2001 to $2.4bn last year. IBM had strong growth on DB2 for zSeries mainframe hardware, which compensated for a double-digit decline on DB2 for the iSeries, formerly known as the AS/400, keeping IBM's new licence revenue flat in 2002.
Microsoft database revenues increased 16.8%, from $1.02bn in 2001 to $1.19bn in 2002.