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Windows outstrips Unix in server market

Tash Shifrin

Annual sales of Windows servers have overtaken Unix for the first time, breaking Unix’s decade-long grip on the top spot, a market survey has shown.

Windows server sales were worth $17.7bn (£10.2bn) in 2005, narrowly ahead of  $17.5bn revenues for Unix servers, the worldwide quarterly tracker survey by analyst IDC revealed.

The increased spend on Windows servers was driven by buyers’ use of more fully configured Windows servers to support scalable enterprise workloads and server virtualisation projects, IDC said.

The figures also show 2005 revenues for Linux servers rising to $5.7 bn, to take third place for the first time. 

Linux servers generated $1.6bn in quarterly revenue in the last quarter of 2005, up 20.8% year on year. The increase marked the fourteenth consecutive quarter of double-digit growth in Linux server sales.

Jean Bozman, IDC’s vice-president of worldwide server research, said customers were using a mix of different operating systems in their IT infrastructures, with each platform offering some advantages.

Bozman added: “Although the trend is towards volume systems, we do not believe that any one platform will be in a position to force another platform out of the marketplace for many years to come.”


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