Shipments of Windows servers rise, IDC says

Shipments of servers loaded with the Windows operating system grew more than shipments of any other server-and-software combination last year, new research shows.

Shipments of servers loaded with the Windows operating system grew more than shipments of any other server-and-software combination last year, new research shows.

The Windows server market grew about 11.5% in the second quarter, compared with the same quarter a year ago, according to a study by International Data Corp., a Framingham, Mass.-based market research firm. Also in the second quarter, unit shipments of Windows servers grew by 21.7% compared with the second quarter one year earlier, the study said.

The study tracked hardware spending and does not reflect what Microsoft earns in terms of its licenses, said Mark Melenovsky, research director of global enterprise server solutions at IDC. "Driving more units into the market is great for Microsoft, but the revenue does not reflect on server operating system sales."

Melenovsky attributes the growth of the Windows server market to several things. For one, customers are replacing systems bought in 1999 and 2000. Also, more small and medium-sized business (SMB) customers are also spending. "Windows is prevalent in that market, so it's getting a piece of the wave," he said.

And to some extent, customers are moving some of their enterprise applications off of proprietary systems and onto Intel-based hardware.

Though the number of servers loaded with Windows grew between the second quarter in 2003 from the same quarter in 2002, revenue from the first quarter of 2003 to the second quarter of 2003 actually dropped by 6.2%. Analysts attribute the dip to the fact that more servers are shipping at cheaper prices.

In terms of hardware sales, IBM Corp. holds the top spot, with revenue in the second quarter of 2003 at $3.2 million. Hewlett-Packard Co. is next with $2.9 million.

IBM enjoyed 10.12% revenue growth from 2002 to 2003, compared with HP's 0.36% revenue growth during the same time period, the study said. IBM holds about a 30.4% market share, compared with HP's 27.7%.

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