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Linux server market dominated by IT giants

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The real winners of the Linux revolution are not the 'cottage industry' operations most in tune with the open source operating system's ethos, but the faceless giants of IT. According to a new report from IDC, Compaq sold more Linux servers than anyone else during the last three months of 1999, and the top five was dominated by the usual hardware suspects: IBM, Hewlett-Packard, Dell and Fujitsu Siemens. IDC's figures show the Big Q dominating the Linux server market with a share of just under 25 per cent. It sold 18,000 servers in Q4 1999. IBM managed much less than half of that - 7000 units - leaving it with ten per cent of the market. HP sold 5400 machines (7.5 per cent), Dell 5200 servers (7.2 per cent) and Fujitsu Siemens 2300 (3.2 per cent). Still, that leaves the 'others', including such famous Linux names as Penguin Computing and VA Linux Systems, holding 47.1 per cent of the market. With Linux's share of the overall server market growing at a rate of 166 per cent, according to IDC estimates, that means there's still plenty of the cake left for the smaller operators. And money too. In revenue terms, Compaq made $84 million in Linux hardware sales, IBM $33 million, Dell $24 million and HP $23 million. Assuming their revenue shares broadly match their unit market shares, that leaves the total Q4 1999 Linux server market worth some $410 million. And Linux holds just six per cent of the sub-$100,000 server market, worth nearly $7 billion altogether. Phew. ®

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