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Linux share of the Japanese server OS market grew a staggering 666.3 per cent last year, market research company IDC has reported.

Of course, that doesn't imply the open source OS dominates the market now. According to IDC Japan's numbers, by the end of 1999, Linux accounted for only four per cent of the server OS market, up from 0.7 per cent the previous year.

Still it's growth rate is way ahead of the market as a whole, which expanded some 32.1 per cent to 419,399 licences, some 16,858 of which were for Linux. The OS has some way to go to catch up with Windows NT's 81.3 per cent share, but if that rate of growth can be maintained or even exceeded. Other varieties of Unix account for 10.1 per cent of the Japanese server OS market.

Certainly, many of the major Japanese server vendors, including Fujitsu and NEC, have been getting even more involved in the Linux market during 2000, so the prospects look good.

For its part, IDC Japan reckons the open source OS' share of the market will grow by around 45 per cent each year, hitting 12 per cent of the market by 2004. ®

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