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The Register: MS still owns desktop, but Linux gains at server end

Mar 02, 2001, 08:00 (39 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by John Lettice)

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"What a week for Microsoft. The legal process starts to win the trial for the company, God's surgical earthquake strike on Bill Gates misses, and according to the IDC numbers just out the Windows world domination campaign is still going swimmingly - or is it?"

"As Microsoft doesn't actually own all of the server market yet, the numbers here are more interesting, and the various factors to take into account more numerous. Again, only Windows and Linux grew numbers, hitting 41 per cent and 27 per cent respectively, but we still seem to be talking largely about the commodity server market here. Unix was down to 14 per cent from 17 per cent, and Novell slipped 2 points to 17 per cent, but money still oozes out of Sun's every corporate pore, the message of this being that the Unix players who're succeeding are selling fewer but bigger boxes for nice big wads of dollars. When this ceases to be the case, we'll know that Microsoft is finally starting to claw its way up from commodity servers."

"Play with the numbers a little, add together Linux and Unix (as disgruntled geeks complained should have been the case when the Q3 2000 numbers came out) and you get 41 per cent. This means a neck-and-neck situation between Microsoft's amalgamated server operating systems and the collection of server operating systems you might suggest were rather like one another, but only if you wanted flamemail from 57 varieties of insurgent. It's not a particularly meaningful calculation to make, given that the saving of Unix seems to be big systems, and this more and more leaves Linux as the obvious challenger in the commodity area, eyeball to eyeball with Microsoft."

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