Linux second best-selling server OS in 1999

And almost as popular as the MacOS on the client side

Linux is now the world's number two server operating system, second only to Windows NT, according to IDC's latest figures. The only snag: there's barely any money in it. Linux vendors made a total of $32 million last year. Hardly a tiny amount by most peoples' standards, but a drop -- 0.6 per cent to be precise -- in the $5.7 billion ocean that is the server OS market. According to IDC's numbers, some 5.4 million copies of server operating systems were sold during 1999, a quarter of which (around 1.35 million units) were Linux distributions. That's up from the 17.2 per cent of the market Linux commanded in 1998, itself up from 6.8 per cent in 1997. However, it's growth is beginning to slow. Between 1997 and 1998, Linux share of the market grew 200 per cent -- this time round it was down to 92 per cent. But since that's still way ahead of all the other server OSes, it's not too much to worry about. The market as a whole grew 23 per cent. NT grew its marketshare fractionally, taking 39 per cent of the market, backed by a rise in unit shipments of 23.5 per cent. Novell Netware ended 1999 with 19 per cent of the market. Together, all the varieties of Unix accounted for just 15 per cent of the server OS market, a fall of 19 per cent. That said, Unix brought in just over half of the market's $5.7 billion revenue. Windows accounted for just over a third of that figure, so from a financial perspective the Unix vendors and Microsoft can't really said to be suffering much from Linux's popularity. And on the client side, Windows, in all its forms, continues to dominate, winning 87 per cent of the 98.6 million copies of client operating systems shipped last year. The MacOS took five per cent of the market, but Linux was right behind it with four per cent. ®

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