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There are signs of life in the hardware market, as server makers saw a ten percent rise in shipments during the first quarter.

Customers remain reluctant to make big system purchases, but research firm Gartner said there were enough low end sales to produce the year-on-year growth in the server business. Total worldwide shipments for the period topped out at 1.2 million systems as compared to 1.1 million systems in the same quarter last year.

HP held onto the top spot among all vendors with 357,000 units shipped and captured 29 percent of the market. Dell came in second with 20 percent of the market and 248,000 servers shipped. IBM held 15 percent of the market, Sun held 4.9 percent and Fujitsu-Siemens rounded out the top five with 2.3 percent of the market.

Dell and IBM showed the strongest growth in the quarter with both vendors generating in excess of 20 percent market share growth. Sun, by contrast, saw its market share decline 13.2 percent in the quarter, according to Gartner.

These numbers include both Intel and RISC systems.

The US server market grew 13.2 percent in the first quarter compared to last year. Dell continues to hold the top spot in the US followed by HP, IBM, Sun and Gateway. ®

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