Behind the IDC data: Windows still No. 1 in server operating systems

Summary:According to IDC's new server data, Windows is still the dominant player. While the fourth quarter was more robust than the third, in terms of total revenues and units, Windows' share of the total stayed constant unit-wise, yet declined, dollar-wise.

International Data Corp. released its fourth-quarter global server data on February 25, listing the top providers of server hardware. But what about on the software front?

According to IDC's data, Windows is still the dominant player. The fourth quarter 2009 was more robust than the third, in terms of total revenues and units. Windows' share of the total stayed constant unit-wise, yet declined, dollar-wise, when compared to the previous calendar quarter.

That said, Windows is still far and away the No. 1 server operating system, in terms of units, and the definite leader in terms of dollars.

Here's IDC's OS share data break out.

Units (Q3 2009/Q4 2009)

Windows    1,248,200 (73.9%)     1,434,225 (73.9%) Unix                72,001 ( 4.3%)           84,851 ( 4.4%) Linux            357,491 (21.2%)         412,041 (21.2%)

Total          1,688,859                   1,941,966

U.S. Dollars (in millions) (Q3 2009/Q4 2009)

Windows   $4,487   (43.0%)           $5,393 (41.6%) Unix          $2,803   (26.9%)          $3,877  (29.9%) Linux         $1,537   (14.7%)          $1,905 (14.7%)

Total         $10,423                        $12,952

(Note: Sorry: I included the wrong dollar totals originally. These are now fixed.)

Windows Server and SQL Server are the biggest bottom-line contributors to Microsoft's Server and Tools business.  It will still be another few years before Microsoft's investments in cloud computing begin kicking in and contributing dollars to Redmond's coffers, officials have conceded.

Topics: Linux, Open Source, Operating Systems, Software, Windows

About

Mary Jo Foley has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications, including ZDNet, eWeek and Baseline. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008). She also is the cohost of the "Windows Weekly" podcast on the TWiT network. Got a tip? Se... Full Bio

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