What goes up...?
Microsoft's share in the server operating system market jumped in 2001, according to a new report, yet analysts question whether the software giant will be able to offer a repeat performance for 2002.
The company's market share for shipments of new server operating system licences jumped to 49 per cent in 2001 from 42 per cent in 2000, according to a research report released by IDC on Monday.
Over the same time period, rivals either held steady or lost market share, the report showed. The IDC numbers represent sales of new licences, not market share for server operating systems running on computers.
"We looked at Microsoft's growth in 2001 and found part of it was Microsoft's licensing programs, but we believe part of it was because already some Microsoft customers had gone into a large Windows 2000 upgrade cycle," said IDC analyst Al Gillen. "It's the combination of those two factors."
But analysts warned that Microsoft likely would not be able to sustain such gains in 2002.
"I don't think we can draw a straight line to 2002," said Gartner analyst Tom Bittman. "We've definitely seen a slowdown" in Windows server software shipments. He cited the economic downturn, as well as next year's expected broad release of Windows .Net Server 2003, as two reasons for the decline.
Competing products did not fare as well, according to IDC. Market share for the Linux operating system was constant between 2000 and 2001, at 25 per cent. NetWare and Unix, which had both separately held around 15 per cent of the server market, fell to under 12 per cent last year.
Yet analysts believe that Microsoft didn't necessarily gain at competitors' expense.
"The share has shifted from year to year, but I don't know that Microsoft has taken share away from another vendor as much as another vendor wasn't able to grow its business," Gillen said.
Overall, the market for new server operating system license shipments shrank about 1 per cent year over year in 2001.
Joe Wilcox writes for News.com