Microsoft’s Windows captured the market lead in server operating systems for the first time during the third quarter, boosted by demand for inexpensive servers.
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According to analyst IDC, volume servers continued to drive the overall worldwide server market in the third quarter, which grew 8.1% year-on-year to $12.5bn (£7.4bn).
Sales of servers running Windows jumped almost 18%, meaning Microsoft can now say it makes the most popular server operating system, said the analyst.
IDC said inexpensive servers are now often clustered together for greater processing power and flexibility, at the expense of more expensive enterprise servers.
Sales of volume servers costing less than $25,000 (£15,000) grew nearly 15% over the year, and sales in enterprise servers that sold for more than $500,000 (£295,000) declined 1.2%.
Although Linux-driven servers increased 34% in the quarter year-on-year, the growth was less than the previous quarter. Unix servers accounted for 0.5% less sales in the third quarter.
In a separate survey of overall server hardware shipments for the third quarter, analyst Gartner said HP was still the leading supplier by market share, despite a slip in its percentage.
The gap between HP and Dell has now narrowed, and IBM has reduced the gap between itself and the top two by increasing shipments. Sun Microsystems is still the number four provider ahead of Fujitsu, despite a slip in market share.