Microsoft Will Continue to Dominate the Client Operating Environment, According to IDC

FRAMINGHAM, MA – JULY 17, 2000 – Despite the enthusiasm for Linux, Microsoft will maintain its dynasty in the client operating environment (COE) market for the foreseeable future. In fact, in 1999 Microsoft Windows NT Workstation revenue growth was larger than the overall market's increase. According to IDC, NT Workstation revenue grew by $1.6 billion while the overall market grew by only $1.53 billion due to product declines that offset Microsoft's growth.

"Undoubtedly, there is a lot of excitement surrounding Linux, but so far this technology has failed to ignite a broad revolution against the Microsoft-dominated desktop world," said Al Gillen, research manager for IDC's System Software research. "Revenues from sales of Linux remain a single droplet compared with the sea of cash that the Windows COE products generate."

IDC models show that Windows products generated approximately 87% of revenues in the COE market during 1999. By 2004, NT Workstation and Windows 2000 Professional will account for just shy of 85% of all COE revenues, while residual Windows 9x product sales will account for much of the remainder, leaving little room for competitive products.

IDC believes Linux will continue to make inroads into the market, but not enough to alter the market segmentation significantly. COE revenues generated from Linux and other Open Source environments will increase from $36.9 million in 1999 to $93.3 million in 2004.

IDC also reports the Macintosh operating system, Mac OS, is rebounding, with a 27% jump in shipments during 1999. "Apple is regaining the confidence of traditional users in the graphic arts and design industries," Gillen said.

"The iMac family helped stop the company's years of declining to flat growth in 1999, but Apple probably won't be able to make up all the ground it lost in the past decade."

IDC recently published Client Operating Environments Market Forecast and Analysis (IDC #B22346), which analyzes the client operating systems and subsystems market. The report compares 1998 and 1999 PC/client operating environment shipment share by platform and forecasts revenues and new license shipments through 2004. It looks at Microsoft Windows, Apple Macintosh, and Linux shipments by region. Key trends affecting the PC/client operating environment are also discussed. To purchase the report, contact Cheryl Toffel at 1-800-343-4952, ext. 4389 or at

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