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Gartner restates server stats – analyst disappears

Coincidence?

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Gartner has retracted its most recent quarterly server numbers and published revised statistics. The new numbers show that HP actually saw revenue decline as opposed to the 54 percent gain first reported.

The analyst working on the HP numbers has since left the company for reasons unknown, The Register has learned.

Gartner issued a note to its clients admitting to a massive overhaul on its worldwide server revenue data. The company's numbers most impacted by the change are those of HP's. Its Unix server business tumbled from a 54 percent gain in the first survey to a 16 percent loss in the revised analysis.

A management change combined with a number of inquiries from HP's competitors into the fourth quarter figures prompted Gartner to examine recent data. Gartner decided that the numbers were skewed and took the unusual step of restating the results.

In its note Gartner said, "We'd like to bring your attention to some adjustments we have made to the U.S. historical data. These adjustments were made to better reflect the relative business performance of a small number of server vendors and more closely align with their announced financial results."

Gartner works with the vendors, comparing figures to try and get something that's right. Exactly which party is more at fault is not clear here. HP is supposed to lead Gartner in the right direction. But according to the sources, the company was unresponsive to requests and in mid-merger chaos.

Vendors make great marketing capital from the numbers deposited quarterly by Gartner and IDC, so a lack of communication with the analyst firm seems unlikely.

Comparing the two sets of data, IBM's numbers were flat across the board in both total servers and Unix systems. HP saw its total servers revenue growth change from an 11 percent gain to a 16 percent loss. And Sun gains from HP's loss.

Sun shifted from a 27 percent loss to 15 percent loss in total servers. Dell dropped from a 37 percent gain to a 30 percent gain in all servers. Sun's Unix business reduced its loss from a 28 percent drop to a 16 percent drop.

More recent data from IDC can be found here, and Gartner's first quarter data will arrive shortly. Let's hope they receive better co-operation, this time. ®

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