IDC: Windows holds desktop, battles Linux on servers

Microsoft's Windows operating system will remain the dominant client operating environment for the foreseeable future, and only the open-source Linux operating system stands in the way of Windows also dominating the server side, according to market analyst International Data Corp. (IDC).

Windows domination of the client operating environment will be a major contributor to Microsoft's revenue growth over the next few years as Windows XP builds on the success of Windows 9X and Windows 2000 Professional, IDC said.

On the server side, IDC said Microsoft won 41 per cent of new licenses in 2000, compared to Linux with 27 per cent, other Unix variants with 13.9 per cent and Novell's Netware with 13.8 per cent. Windows 2000 and Windows .Net server will help Microsoft extend its lead in the future, but the company will not gain more than 50 per cent of the server operating system market by licenses or revenues, IDC said.

Linux will be the only other server operating environment to show license revenue shipment growth. Unix new license revenues will remain flat between now and 2005, while NetWare license revenues are likely to fall slightly, unless the recently-released NetWare 6 proves to be successful, IDC said.

In combined server and client operating systems and subsystems, Microsoft had a 50 per cent share of the market in 2000. This figure will rise to 67 per cent by 2005, IDC said.

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