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Windows Still the Hot Platform for New Databases

Gartner released research this week showing that the strongest growth in new database software license revenues in 2001 came on Windows server platforms.

Microsoft's server operating system saw 11 percent year-over-year growth in database software revenues from 2000 to 2001, even as the entire database management system market grew by just 1.4 percent and new database revenues on the Unix platform actually declined by 1.4 percent.

Growth was much slower in 2001 than in 2000, both overall and on Windows. That year, overall database revenues rose 10 percent, while Windows server revenues shot up 34 percent.

The prime beneficiary of the Windows server growth in 2001 was Microsoft, with its SQL Server database.

"Microsoft used every means at its disposal to gain share as it continued to play to its wide audience of developers. Microsoft also continued to play up market perceptions of SQL Server as the low-cost enterprise DBMS, an alluring message to fiscally strapped enterprises," Gartner analyst Colleen Graham wrote in her report.

Microsoft delivered 25 percent revenue growth between 2000 and 2001, driving its overall market share on the Windows server platform to 39.9 percent on more than $1 billion in revenues. Onetime Windows server database leader Oracle Corp. saw its revenues drop by 1 percent on the platform to finish with 34 percent market share. IBM also enjoyed a nearly 16 percent revenue surge on the Windows platform to finish 2001 with a 20.7 percent market share.

"Since the Gartner Dataquest numbers are all about new customers, it shows that we're getting the new customers," says Sheryl Tullis, product manager for Microsoft SQL Server.

Overall, IBM's acquisition of Informix Corp. just pushed IBM past Oracle into the top position for database management system revenues across all operating system platforms and database types.

Oracle still enjoys more than a 3-to-1 market share lead over closest competitor IBM in RDBMS revenues on Unix operating systems.

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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