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Sun is top dog in Unix market

Server sales on the up across all platforms

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Sun Microsystems is keeping ahead of its competitors in the Unix server market according to the latest figures from market analysts IDC.

An IDC report on the server market, released today, shows Sun is ahead of Hewlett-Packard, IBM and Compaq in terms of both shipments and revenues.

Sun has 39 per cent of the Unix server market by revenue - with HP, IBM and Compaq controlling 23 per cent, 16 per cent and nine per cent of the market respectively. According to IDC's third quarter Server Tracker Report almost half the Unix servers shipped came from Sun.

"The IDC report shows that the Sun Enterprise and Netra server lines are clear winners with customers - no recounts necessary and no dimpled, pregnant or hanging chads," said Shahin Khan, vice president of marketing for Sun's systems products.

The IDC figures are in sharp contrast to reports by financial analysts that cast doubt on whether Sun can sustain its performance long-term.

Analysts at Goldman Sachs and Bank of America Securities have issued cautious research bulletins about Sun that said it might struggle to meet sales targets in the face of a global economic slowdown in server sales. The introduction of more competitive products from Hewlett-Packard and Compaq may also eat into Sun's share of the Unix market, they warned

Over the course of the quarter the IDC report shows the Unix server market grew 20 per cent, compared to last year's figures. However not too much should be read into this particular statistic because even Sun admits last year's figures were affected by a Year 2000 related spending slowdown.

Taking into account Windows servers, IDC figures show factory revenues for the whole server market jumped 12 per cent from the year-ago quarter to $15.4 billion. Demand for Intel-based rack mounted servers was particularly strong.

The figures also show Linux servers are becoming increasingly popular. Revenues for this emerging operating environment increased a whopping 178 per cent from the same period last year. ®

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