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IDC: Microsoft Makes Server Inroads

Market researcher International Data Corporation (IDC) issued a report Monday, in which it notes that Microsoft's share of the usually staid server market jumped dramatically. Microsoft, which owned 41 percent of the market in 2000, saw its market share rise to 49 percent in 2001, IDC says.

IDC noted that Microsoft's success came thanks to Windows 2000 Server adoption. "We looked at Microsoft's growth in 2001 and found part of it was Microsoft's licensing programs, but we believe part of it was because already some Microsoft customers had gone into a large Windows 2000 upgrade cycle," IDC analyst Al Gillen says. "It's the combination of those two factors."

All of the other players in this market saw their share remain steady or fall. Linux server shipments held at 25 percent, while Netware and UNIX both fell from about 15 percent of the market in 2000 to 12 percent in 2001. IDC also notes that the overall server market shrank by about 1 percent in 2001.

Given that Win2K was released in February 2000, it's now clear that enterprises were slow to adopt Win2K Server, though that was expected due to the product's dramatic improvements and resulting complicated upgrade over the previous version, Windows NT Server 4.0. IDC says that the Win2K Server ramp-up has proceeded as expected, with a six to twelve month lag time after its release so that corporations could evaluate the product and plan upgrades. The next release, Windows .NET Server 2003, isn't expected to attract many Win2K upgrades, but is instead primarily targeted at any remaining NT 4.0 holdouts. However, Microsoft might have prevented any sales downturn this year by implementing a new licensing scheme, Licensing 6.0, that IDC says boosted sales in mid-2002.

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