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Worldwide server revenue surpassed $11.8bn in the third quarter of 2004, six per cent up on last year, according to Gartner Dataquest.

Server sales of commodity x86 servers showed the strongest growth in revenue. "This, along with the acceptance of Linux in additional application areas in the enterprise space will continue to drive demand," said Mike McLaughlin, principal analyst for Gartner.

These trends helped Dell grow server revenue by 17 per cent, overtaking Sun Microsystems for the third spot in the server market with a share of 9.8 per cent against Sun's 9.5 per cent. IBM retained its leadership with a 32 per cent share of the server market, ahead of HP with a 27.6 per cent slice of the pie.

The estimated revenue splits worked out as follows: IBM - $3.79bn, HP - $3.29bn, Dell - $1.16bn, Sun - $1.13bn, Fujitsu/Fujitsu-Siemens $652m and others - $1,825bn. WorldwideuUnit shipments were 1.6 million units, 16.3 per cent up on Q3 last year .

Linux continued to be the growth leader in operating systems in both revenue (up 55.7 per cent from Q32003 to Q32004) and units (up 45.2 per cent). Windows gained another two points in market share in Q42004 compared to Q42003, earning 36.5 per cent of all revenue, or approximately $4.3bn for the quarter. Meanwhile, both Unix and “Other OS” categories continue their slow decline, with revenue falling 3.6 per cent for Unix, and 5.8 per cent for “Other OS” in the third quarter.

In EMEA, the server market produced sales of $3.5bn in the third quarter of 2004, up three per cent on Q32003. The x86 category was also strong, with revenues up 18 per cent on last year. The higher end of the market was weaker, with the Unix market falling six per cent in revenues. ®

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