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IDC: Windows Server Revenues Essentially Equal Unix Market in Q3

Factory revenues for Windows servers and Unix servers were "essentially equal" in IDC's market share report for the third quarter, marking a potential turning point for the Windows server market.

Windows servers grew revenues by 13.3 percent over the comparable quarter in 2003 to hit $3.9 billion. Unix server revenues fell 2.3 percent compared to the year-ago quarter to $4.0 billion.

"Quarterly revenue of $3.9 billion for Windows servers represented 33.9 percent of overall factory revenue, essentially equal in size to the Unix market," IDC said in a statement.

Linux-server revenues continued to grow faster still, 42.6 percent over the year-ago quarter, for a ninth consecutive quarter of double-digit growth. Linux-based servers passed $1 billion in revenues in a quarter for the first time.

The overall server market for the third quarter represented $11.5 billion in sales, a 5.5 percent increase compared to the third quarter of 2003.

Growth for both Windows and Linux platforms stemmed from the surging x86 platform and the trend toward substituting volume servers for midrange, mid-priced servers. The volume server segment grew in revenue by 18.2 percent year over year. Revenues for midrange enterprise servers declined 10.2 percent. There's still life in the high-end enterprise server market, which grew 1.9 percent year over year for its fourth consecutive quarter of growth.

"Although customers continue to target data center simplification initiatives, investment in strategic IT initiatives -- including new workloads -- are also growing significantly once again," said Matt Eastwood, program director of Global Enterprise Server Solutions at IDC.

About the Author

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