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Linux commands 13 per cent market share, says IDC

But didn't IDC's last stats predict something much higher?

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Linux's share of the business operating system market is now up to 13 per cent, according to the latest figures from researcher IDC based on a survey of 788 organisations in the US and Canada. The last time IDC carried out a similar survey, in 1997, Linux barely registered. However, it's curious that IDC's last set of Linux figures, based on its adoption as a server OS, suggested it had 6.8 per cent of the market in 1997, rising to 17.2 per cent through 1998. That's a growth rate of 212 per cent, the researcher then said. Following that trend through into 1999, and allowing for the fact that those numbers took in a wider range of users than the latest survey, we would expect Linux to be registering rather higher than the 13 per cent the latest survey puts the open source OS' at. That suggests that while Linux adoption by the commercial world is increasing by a fair margin -- negligible to 13 per cent market share in two years is impressive -- the growth in the uptake of Linux as a whole isn't be driven as much by business as had been assumed -- that gap of 4.2 per cent (at the very least) has to be somewhere, if the growth in the shipment of Linux hasn't fallen through 1999. Certainly there doesn't appear to be a major increase in the shipments of other business operating systems. IDC's survey suggested most businesses are holding fire on Windows 2000 roll-outs, with most respondents allowing between six and 18 months to pass before embarking on large-scale Win2000 installations. A full 50 per cent of respondents said the technical stabilisation of Windows 2000 would cause them to delay implementation, said IDC. "Past issues with first-release operating systems from Microsoft have caused organizations to reign in their Windows 2000 deployment plans," said IDC Client Infrastructure Software research manager William Peterson. ®

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