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Linux growth rate slows in Japan

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Linux's explosive growth as a server operating system appears to be slowing, at least in Japan. However, it is still growing faster than the market as a whole.

According to IDC Japan's latest stats, for the Japanese server OS arena, Linux will account for 7.8 per cent of the market come the end of 2000. That's due to a 144.4 per cent increase on the number of shrinkwrapped or bundled copies of the open source operating system shipped during the year.

That compares with the 666.3 per cent growth rate Linux saw during 1999, when the OS leapt from 0.7 per cent of the server market at the start of the year to four per cent 12 months later.

The Japanese server market as a whole is set to grow 26.9 per cent this year, IDC reckons, so Linux is clearly steaming ahead even if not quite as fast as before. And last year's explosive growth was more a result of coming from next to nothing than a true measure of increasing interest in its usage, year on year.

During 2000, IDC expects Windows' share to decline by 2.1 per cent, despite strong growth in Windows 2000 sales during the ten months or so it's been on sale in Japan.

Last year, Windows NT took 81.3 per cent of the market. In 2000, NT will account for 60.9 per cent and Windows 2000 18.3 per cent, for a total of 79.2 per cent.

Unix variants will account for 9.4 per cent of the market, down from 10.1 per cent during 1999. Unit sales will increase 17.1 per cent during 2000.

Looking ahead, IDC Japan predicts that the Japanese server OS market will grow by an average of 17.2 per cent between 1999 and 2004. During that time, Linux will grow each year by an average of 69.5 per cent, leading to a marketshare of 25.4 per cent in 2004. ®

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