Linux Losing Market Share to Windows Server
October 26, 2007 2 Comments
That’s the title of this eWeek article:
Linux growth in the U.S. x86 server market has, over the past six quarters, started to falter and reverse its positive course relative to Windows Server and the market as a whole.
The annual rate at which Linux is growing in the x86 server space has fallen from around 53 percent in 2003, when Windows Server growth was in the mid-20 percent range, to a negative 4 percent growth in calendar year 2006, IDC Quarterly Server Tracker figures show.
Over the same time period, Windows has continued to report positive annual growth, outpacing the total growth rate in the x86 market by more than 4 percent in 2006, indicating that Linux has actually lost market share to Windows Server over this time.
The same holds true for worldwide Linux x86 server shipments, which dropped from the huge annual growth rate of about 45 percent is 2003 to growth of less than 10 percent in 2006, the IDC figures show.
One of the biggest reasons for this is that the migrations from Unix to Linux have slowed down markedly.
“We have seen the rate of migration from Unix slow over the past few quarters,” IDC analyst Matt Eastwood told eWEEK. “In my view this is because much of the low-hanging fruit has been moved and the applications that remain on Unix are stickier because they are seen as business critical and more political candidates for migration overall.”
The truth is, most of the low-hanging fruit probably has been picked off. That’s not a bad thing, it’s simply part of the natural maturation process that Linux is inevitably going to go through. Historically, a large number of Linux migrations were from UNIX and NetWare. At some point, that was going to have to change. At some point, Linux was going to have to more directly compete with Windows on the server. Everyone knew that – why do you think Microsoft has been fighting so hard on the marketing side of things? It’s clear that time is coming soon… very soon. It’s not going to be easy, of course, but I think Linux is now very well positioned. It should also be noted that Linux is notoriously hard to track when it comes to these kinds of analysts reports. Many distributions that are being used in the data center now, such as Ubuntu, are not commercial products. Often times Linux is deployed on hardware that is being reused. There are a myriad reasons why the Linux number is extremely unreliable. I say let’s use that to our advantage. Let this be a wake up call for us and a reason for them to think they can sit back and rest on their laurels.