IDC Says Positive Outlook for the Workstation Market – Opportunity Lies in High-Performance Mobile Workstations

FRAMINGHAM, MA – MAY 16, 2006 – Overall economic improvement has led to an increase in IT spending and is contributing to a positive outlook for the workstation market. IDC has forecast that 2.5 million branded personal and traditional workstations will be shipped worldwide in 2010, a net increase of 568,137 units over the 2005-2010 forecast period, and revenue will reach $5.2 billion for the same year. Major growth is anticipated in the mobile segment as they add new life to the personal workstation segment.

"Although the workstation market has evolved into a mature segment with stable characteristics, new computing technologies built on commodity components will result in a net add of more than 500,000 new workstations from 2005 to 2010," said Lloyd Cohen, director, Worldwide Market Analysis, Global Enterprise Server Solutions, IDC. "A major opportunity for workstation vendors lies in offering high-performance mobile workstations."

In order to capitalize on the anticipated growth of the mobile segment, IDC believes that vendors need to rapidly introduce new mobile workstations that provide increased performance. This segment may attract major PC vendors who do not currently offer mobile workstations. Although receiving workstation certification takes time, there are few other barriers to entry for an established PC vendor.

Looking forward in 2006 and beyond, the introduction of 64-bit-capable systems and dual core workstations is expected to have a major impact on the overall workstation market dynamics. 2005 was the crossover year in which x86-64-bit workstations shipped in a greater quantity than the x86-32-bit platform.

Traditional workstations (TWS) will continuing their slow downward slide as users move to personal workstation platforms (PWS). However, vendors will continue to refresh their TWS product lines because many users are still reluctant to migrate to the PWS architecture. There are still over one million TWS workstations installed, and IDC does not believe this number is going to decline rapidly.

IDC's recent study, Worldwide Workstation 2006-2010 Forecast (IDC #201191) examines the U.S. and worldwide markets for traditional Unix workstations and personal workstations for 2004-2010.

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