IDC: Windows Server still rules the server roost

Summary:The new first quarter 2010 International Data Corp. numbers are out for the worldwide server market. According to the market researcher, Windows Server is still the runaway leader, in terms of operating system unit shipments, and also still in first place when it comes to revenues compared to Unix and Linux.

The new first quarter 2010 International Data Corp. numbers are out for the worldwide server market. According to the market researcher, Windows Server is still the runaway leader, in terms of operating system unit shipments, and also still in first place when it comes to revenues compared to Unix and Linux.

In Q1 2010, Windows Server was installed on 75.3 percent of the servers sold worldwide. Linux was on 20.8 percent of the servers and Unix on only 3.6 percent. Both Windows Server and Linux grew in share from Q4 2009 to Q1 2010; Unix declined slightly.

On the revenue side of the house, Windows Server-based systems brought in 48.9 percent of the dollars worldwide, IDC said. Unix was No. 2 with 22 percent and Linux, third, with 16.2 percent. As in the case of units, Unix-based systems lost share between Q4 2009 and Q1 2010.

Here are IDC's latest figures, as well as the comparable IDC data for Q4 2009. Note the percentages don't total 100. That is because IDC includes an unspecified "other" category that is not included here.

Q1 2010 units

Windows 1,379,487  (75.3%) Unix            65,451    (3.6%) Linux        380,429   (20.8%)

Q4 2009 units

Windows  1,434,225 (73.9%) Unix              84,851 ( 4.4%) Linux           412,041 (21.2%)

Q1 2010 dollars

Windows  $5.1 billion (48.9%) Unix        $2.3 billion (22.2%) Linux       $1.7 billion (16.2%)

Q4 2009 dollars

Windows  $5.4 billion (41.6%) Unix        $3.9 billion (29.9%) Linux       $1.9 billion (14.7%)

A few more observations from IDC's latest report:

  • Microsoft Windows server demand was positively impacted by the accelerating x86 server market, as hardware revenue increased 33.6% and unit shipments increased 28.3% year over year.

  • Quarterly revenue of $5.1 billion for Windows servers represented 48.9% of overall quarterly factory revenue. This is the highest percentage of server hardware revenue that Windows servers have ever represented.
  • Unix servers experienced 29.0% revenue decline when compared to 1Q09 as customers waited for additional detail on the Sun-Oracle server roadmap. They were also anticipating a ramp of IBM POWER7 servers, which began shipping in Q1, and, separately, HP Integrity servers based on Intel Itanium 9300 processors that were announced in April. Worldwide Unix revenues were $2.3 billion for the quarter, representing 22.2% of quarterly server spending (down 10.5 points over 1Q09).

Microsoft is expected to deliver a first beta of Windows Server 2008 R2 Service Pack (SP) 1 -- and, by extension, Windows 7 SP1 -- any time now. I wouldn't be surprised to see the Softies announce and/or deliver that beta next week, in conjunction with the company's Tech Ed conference. Even though Microsoft has been advising IT admins not to wait for SP1 to move to Windows Server 2008 R2, a number of organizations still insist on waiting for SP1 before moving to a new version of Windows.

Microsoft officials said earlier this year that Windows 7 SP1 would be a conglomeration of bug fixes and updates, and would not include any new features. On the server side, SP1 will include two new virtualiztion features, Microsoft officials have said.

These new features include a new graphics acceleration platform, known as RemoteFX, that is based on desktop-remoting technology that Microsoft obtained in 2008 when it acquired Calista Technologies. There also will be a new addition to Hyper-V that will dynamically adjust memory of a guest virtual machine on demand.

Topics: Operating Systems, Hardware, Linux, Open Source, Servers, 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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