When IDC released its report on fourth-quarter 2002 numbers
earlier today, both IBM and Hewlett-Packard were quick to chine in
and proclaim their own victories in the worldwide server market--a
market that saw a 41 percent increase in worldwide Linux server
According to the report, "IBM extended its lead in the overall
server market with a 36.2% share, gaining more than 2 points of
share from a year ago. Dell and Sun Microsystems also posted slight
year-over-year market share gains, with 1.5 points and 0.2 points,
However, in terms of revenue in the fourth quarter, HP indicated
in its own statement to the press that it held the number one
position in 4Q revenue in the individual Intel, Linux, and UNIX
markets, a statement that was not in the original IDC press
release, but was confirmed from data in a IDC revenue chart.
In the UNIX, Linux, and Windows markets, IBM touted that it
consistently gained in all three markets, while HP's revenues
actually shrank in all three of these channels.
The confusion on just exactly comes out on top in this very
competitive environment stems from how each company in the field
chooses the numbers to highlight: revenue or units shipped.
For instance, for the 2002 calendar year, IBM remained number
one with 29.4% share followed by HP with 23.8% share. If HP and
Compaq shipments were combined for the full year, HP would be in
the number 2 position with 27.8% share. These numbers are for all
worldwide server revenue figures.
But "HP is the worldwide leader in total server unit shipments
including Unix, Windows and Linux servers, for calendar year 2002,"
according to Kathy Sowards, Media Relations Manager for HP.
When the revenue numbers are examined for the UNIX market HP and
IBM virtually tied in revenue share, with each holding 30 percent
of the market share. For the entire 2002 year, Sun Microsystems led
the market with 32% share followed by HP with 30%. However, if you
combine Compaq and HP as one entity for the full year, HP pretty
much tied for the number 1 position in the UNIX market.
Perhaps the brightest star of information in the report was the
stunning 41 percent revenue growth for the Linux server market--a
jump of $607 million compared to 4Q 2001.
"Some might say this is a small number, since right now the
Linux market is starting small," explained IDC analyst Jean Bozman.
But she went on to point out that the Linux market's growth is
strongly accelerating. The 3Q-to-3Q numbers from last quarter
showed a growth of just 26 percent, compared to this quarter's
year-to-year jump of 41 percent.
"The things we think are driving that increase is that the Linux
servers are becoming very mature," Bozman added. She cited heavy
use of file and print servers, as well as a very strong increase in
Linux-based clusters taking on jobs that would in the past have
been handled by supercomputers.
In the 4Q revenue numbers released by IDC today, HP is still the
leader in this field, with a market share of 30.8 percent, followed
by IBM's 20.4 percent of revenue share.