IT managers continued to spend significant amounts of their IT budgets on hardware, with server and desktop sales remaining strong in 2005.
Simon Yates, senior analyst at Forrester Research, said buyers were consolidating around the big three corporate suppliers, Dell, Hewlett-Packard and Lenovo (the company that bought IBM's PC division).
"Windows XP migrations are drawing to a close, but firms have less aggressive plans for deploying Windows Vista, and interest in Linux remains flat," he said.
Research by analyst firm IDC found that IT managers have invested heavily in their server infrastructures this year. This has been a core component of IT projects to bring in new software, storage and services.
Users bought large numbers of small and midrange enterprise servers and server blades, but fewer high-end enterprise servers than they did in 2004, according to IDC.
"Although there was continued IT investment across all three server classes, the volume and midrange enterprise server segments are showing the strongest growth. This relates to IT purchasers' continuing focus on cost containment, which is often achieved through strategic server consolidation and server virtualisation initiatives," said Matt Eastwood, programme vice-president of worldwide server research at IDC.
In addition, more firms bought mobile technology in 2005 than in previous years, including laptops, smartphones and Blackberry e-mail devices.