IDC: Windows still leading server market, but revenues down 29 percent

It's not just PC client sales that have to be worrying Microsoft and its partners. Server sales are pretty abysmal, too, as new International Data Corp. server breakdown for the first quarter of 2009 make plain.

It's not just PC client sales that have to be worrying Microsoft and its partners. Server sales are pretty abysmal, too, as new International Data Corp. numbers make plain.

The Register has IDC's server breakdown for the first quarter of 2009. There's seemingly no silver lining: Revenues for all server types were down 24.5 percent, compared with the year-ago quarter, to $9.9 billion. Unit shipments were down 26.5 percent compared to Q1 1008, to 1,485,490 units.

The breakdown (in terms of dollars): Windows servers held onto their lead, with $3.7 billion in sales, a 28.9 percent decline. Unix servers dropped 17.5 percent, to $3.3 billion. Linux servers dropped 24.8 percent, to $1.4 billion.

The softest segment of the server market was low-cost "volume" servers, the Reg reported, meaning machines costing under $25,000. Revenues for that class of systems dropped 30.5 percent compared to the comparable year-ago quarter. Midrange servers fared a bit better, with revenues down 13.6 percent. High-end server revenues were down 19.5 percent.

The Reg's conclusion: "If you do the math, companies are buying fewer but more expensive non-x64 boxes, which suggests virtualisation and consolidation projects."

In spite of the downward server spiral, as TechFlash's Todd Bishop noted recently, Microsoft's Server and Tools unit was, as of Microsoft's third quarter of fiscal 2009, one of the company's top two cash cows. The Office unit and Server and Tools generated the most revenue, with Windows client now No. 3.