A new IDC report shows that in 2005 servers with the Windows OS generated sales of $17.7 billion worldwide, which barely edged out long-time revenue king UNIX, which was at $17.5 billion. It was the first time Windows has ever held the top spot in server revenue and it was the first time UNIX has been knocked out of the lead in over a decade. Another first was that Linux moved into third place for the first time with $5.3 billion in sales, passing IBM's z/OS for mainframes ($4.8 billion).
Some of the main points from the report include:
- The overall server market grew by 4.4% in 2005 to $51.3 billion (Gartner recently released its server numbers, which said the server market grew 4.5% to $49.5 billion)
- Linux has posted double-digit revenue growth (in percentage) for 14 straight quarters; however, it still appears to be taking more share away from UNIX than Windows
- The Windows server growth is being powered by growth of x86 servers, which saw revenue grow by 6.7% and unit shipments grow by 13.7%; of course, x86 growth also helps Linux
- The fact that Windows servers are being used for larger enterprise tasks and server virtualization is also driving Windows server growth
- IBM is still the overall server king in revenue with $16.9 billion, followed by HP ($14.2 billion), Dell ($5.3 billion), and Sun ($4.9 billion)
- Blade servers grew from $1.15 billion to $2.11 billion and the blade market is now dominated by the three big server players — IBM, HP, and Dell, in that order.
- Smaller servers are accounting for most of the growth — 6.8 out of the 7 million servers that shipped in 2005 were sold for under $25,000
Jason Hiner has nothing to disclose. He doesn't hold investments in the technology companies he covers.
Jason Hiner is Global Editor in Chief of TechRepublic and Global Long Form Editor of ZDNet. He's co-author of the book, Follow the Geeks.