Windows Server propels x86 system rebound

Microsoft servers perform well despite a depressed market

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 midrange 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 executive editor of Redmond Channel Partner and an editor-at-large at Redmond magazine, affiliate publications of Government Computer News.

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