Database Platforms: Windows Grows, Linux Grows Faster

Microsoft consolidated its leading share of the Windows database market, but growth of Windows as a database platform trails growth of Linux as a database platform both in raw dollars and in percentage terms, according to new Gartner research for 2003.

Microsoft's share of the Windows database market, consisting primarily of SQL Server sales, ramped up to 47.3 percent in 2003. Redmond's share in 2002 was 44.3 percent.

Revenues of new database licenses on Windows grew by 3.8 percent from 2002 to 2003, which translates to about $100 million more than the year ago total. Linux, on the other hand, grew at a torrid pace as a database platform -- 153 percent. In dollar terms, it also beat Windows for growth, with a $180-million gain in revenues, according to Gartner.

Oracle is soaking up much of that new business. The database powerhouse accounted for 69.1 percent of the Linux-based market, and Oracle grew its revenues in the segment by 361 percent. Oracle's gain is coming at IBM's expense. Big Blue saw its 2002 Linux market share of 57.6 percent shrink to 28.5 percent in 2003.

Linux is coming fast, but it's coming from far behind. Windows-based database revenues represents $2.8 billion of the $7.1 billion database market. All Linux-based database revenues for 2003 are estimated at just $300 million.

Overall, the database market came out of its tailspin in 2003 -- replacing the 6 percent revenue decline from 2001 to 2002 with a 5.1-percent increase from 2002 to 2003. Unix, however, continued the skid, with a 5.9 percent fall in revenues as a database platform.

"Enterprises have worked through some excess capacity issues, and they are looking to the future," Colleen Graham, principal analyst for Gartner, said in a statement.

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.