IDC Says Microsoft is Moving into Dominant Role in Server Operating Environments, Even as Linux Grows

FRAMINGHAM, MA – OCTOBER 8, 2003 – According to IDC, Microsoft will hold its position in the worldwide operating environments market through 2007, despite continued competition from Linux. Microsoft's share of worldwide server operating environment (SOE) new license shipments grew from 50.5% in 2001 to 55.1% in 2002, while the company's client operating environment (COE) new license shipments inched up from 93.2% to 93.8% of the worldwide COE market. By comparison, paid shipments of Linux SOEs captured 23.1% of the market, and Linux COE paid shipments accounted for 2.8% of the market total in 2002.


While 2002 was generally a tough year for IT expenditures, overall operating systems and subsystems market revenues grew by a surprising 4.3% to $18.6 billion, led by a 12.4% increase in revenues aboard the Windows platform. With the exception of the Linux market, all other operating environments experienced negative revenue growth in 2002.

"Microsoft continues to defy the overall market trends, and has again pulled the market upward from both a unit shipment perspective and from a revenue perspective," said Al Gillen, research director for IDC's System Software research. "Linux was the only other bright spot in 2002, with that operating environment posting both revenue and shipment volume gains." Overall paid unit shipment growth for the SOE segment was 9.6%, while paid COE shipments were up by 5.1% compared to 2001.

IDC also revealed that the 5.7 million new license shipments achieved in the SOE market during 2002 were split between Microsoft, Linux, combined Unix (11%), and Netware (9.9%). Other products accounted for the remaining 1%. In the COE market, total shipments of 121 million included Microsoft's Windows products, Linux, and Mac OS (2.9%), with other products accounting for the remaining 0.5%.

Through 2007, both Windows and Linux products will increase annual shipment totals, with the worldwide COE market expected to grow at a 2002-2007 compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.5%, while the SOE market will grow at a 2002-2007 CAGR of 9.1%.

IDC's recently released Worldwide Client and Server Operating Environment Market Forecast and Analysis, 2002-2007: Microsoft Growth Sets Stage for SOE Dominance (IDC #30159) examines the overall operating environments market and provides a comparative analysis and shipment forecast for 2003 through 2007. This document also includes COE and SOE new license revenue data for 2000-2007 as well as installed base data for 2000 through 2007.

Note: Software revenue includes only revenue for software licenses and related maintenance. Only paid software shipments, whether included with hardware or shipped exclusive of hardware, are incorporated in the revenue shipment statistics: installed based includes shipments minus retirements. Market share numbers are reported for new license shipments and does not represent installed base.

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