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Windows to Hit 60 Percent of Server Unit Shipments by 2008

Based on the restored demand for enterprise servers that began late last year, researchers at IDC are predicting strong growth for server systems through 2008, especially for Linux- and Windows-based boxes.

"There continues to be very strong growth in the x86 industry standard server market -- particularly for Windows- and Linux-based solutions," IDC analyst Mark Melenovsky said in a statement. "Growth has been strong for everything from stand-alone systems in small offices to several-hundred-node clusters in enterprise data centers."

In terms of unit shipments, IDC expects Windows to dominate, capturing 60 percent of all server unit shipments in 2008. Linux-based servers will represent 29 percent of all server unit shipments by that time, the research firm projects.

The overall server system revenue pie for 2004 is expected to be $53 billion, 5 percent higher than the 2003 market. By 2008, IDC expects the market to grow to $60.8 billion.

While the IDC numbers have Windows and Linux shipments together accounting for nearly 90 percent of the market, the big profit margins will remain with Unix and other proprietary platforms. IDC expects Windows- and Linux-based systems together to account for just over 50 percent of server revenues by 2008, up from 37 percent in 2003. Windows-based server revenues are projected to hit about $22.7 billion by that date, while IDC has Linux-based server revenues at $9.7 billion in 2008.

In a non-OS prediction, IDC also says the blade server segment will account for $9 billion of revenues and 29 percent of server unit shipments by 2008.

About the Author

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

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