Windows Server Propels x86 System Rebound

Despite a depressed market for servers over the past 18 months, the release of Microsoft's Windows Server 2008 R2 last year appears to have propelled a rebound in volume x86-based systems, according to IDC's latest Server Tracker Report.

Revenues for systems running Windows Server for the quarter were $5.4 billion, representing a 13.7 percent increase, while unit deliveries were up 5.5 percent year-over-year, IDC reported Thursday. Windows Server accounted for nearly 42 percent of overall server revenues for the period. That also represents the highest revenues for Windows Server in two years, according to IDC.

"I think Windows Server is going to continue to do well -- Microsoft has a strong release with 2008 R2 and Hyper-V bundled in," said IDC analyst Daniel Harrington. "I also expect Linux to stay steady and to also grow a bit and take share from those other laggard OSes out there."

Linux servers accounted for 14.7 percent of all servers shipped in the fourth quarter, up 1.4 points year-over-year. Revenues of $1.9 billion increased 6.1 percent. Unix server sales continued to decline, down 18 percent for the period.

However, the sharper-than-usual decline in Unix systems for the heavy buying season is in part due to the delayed release of IBM's Power 7 and Intel's Itanium processors. Both were recently released this quarter. "We could see a pop in demand in the mid-range systems market," Harrington said.

While sales of all servers decreased nearly 4 percent for the quarter year-over-year, revenues increased 9.9 percent over the prior quarter. That represents the second quarter of sequential revenue growth, according to IDC. For the year, server sales of $43 billion showed a 19 percent decline.

About the Author

Jeffrey Schwartz is editor of Redmond magazine and also covers cloud computing for Virtualization Review's Cloud Report. In addition, he writes the Channeling the Cloud column for Redmond Channel Partner. Follow him on Twitter @JeffreySchwartz.

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Reader Comments:

Sun, Jun 27, 2010 Ed B Rialto, CA

Comparing the x86 platform with a 32/64 bit architecture is comparing apples and oranges. All the author is saying is that sales for Intel Itanium, IBM Power7, and similar non-x86 processor based servers have been tanking.

Thu, Mar 18, 2010

x86 != x64 no hire. - wow funny how someone felt the need to post this

Fri, Mar 5, 2010 mani pondichhery

Hyper-V is 64-bit

Wed, Mar 3, 2010 Jeff Schwartz

Indeed Windows Server 2008 R2 requires 64-bit processors but from a market segmentation standpoint, it is widely understood that x86-class systems are those based on standard Intel Architecture. Included in that segmentation are x64-based systems including Intel's Xeon and AMD's Opteron processor, according to IDC. Hope that helps. Thanks for your comments.

Wed, Mar 3, 2010 Dan Iowa

The author, Justin, and Mike are incorrect. Windows Server 2008 R2 (RTM) is in fact only supported on x64. This is a processor architecture that is seperate and distinct from x86. x64 is a shortened form of x86-64, but this should not be confused with x86. Intel 64 and AMD64 are implementations of x64. If the author just corrected the title to say x64, all would be fine. There was no failure by the tech industry x64 is x64, a 64 bit architecture with some 32 bit compatability in the instruction set. x86 is a legacy processor architecture that is going away. When we distinguish system architectures, we often use processor architecture simply to describe all system architectures that use that processor. In any case, x86 sales being driven by Windows Server 2008 R2 would suggest a massive revolt against the new OS and x64, which I don't think, is the message the author intended.

Mon, Mar 1, 2010 Mike

What a bunch of typical IT morons. Justin is absolutely right.

Mon, Mar 1, 2010 HV

Strange - I am running Windows Server 2008R2 on a 32-bit Intel Pentium CPU (a Dell Dimension circa 2003)!!

Mon, Mar 1, 2010

The author of this article may want to review the subject. Windows Server 2008 R2 is x64 only. Would the author please fix the title?

Mon, Mar 1, 2010 Justin

All of you are no hires :) In the article x86 is referring to the general processor architecture since they also talk about PowerPC & Itanium in the article. It's a tech industry FAIL for calling out x86 not only for a processor architecture but also a system architecture (32 bit).

Mon, Mar 1, 2010

Hyper-V is 64-bit only... What in the world is this guy talking about?

Mon, Mar 1, 2010

x86 != x64 no hire.

Mon, Mar 1, 2010

The title should be "Windows Server Propels x64 System Rebound"Windows Server 2008 R2 is a x64 only. 32-bit x86 are no longer supported on a server product. Can you trust an analyst that cannot get its fact straight?

Mon, Mar 1, 2010

Strange, I thought Windows Server 2008 R2 only worked on x64 servers.

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