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Euro server slump makes Itanium look good

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European server sales were so bad in the first quarter that Intel's long-unloved Itanium actually stood out as a comparative beacon of light.

Figures from IDC show that server revenues in EMEA were down 34.3 per cent in the first quarter to $2.9bn, while shipments slumped 29.6 per cent to under 500,000 units.

The EMEA slide was even worse than the 24.9 per cent worldwide server slump reported by IDC last week.

The research firm does not expect the EMEA market to show signs of life until next year, as companies respond to the economic downturn by freezing server buys in the short term. The market should see some life as companies look to exploit efficiencies from virtualisation and better power management, and as the economy as a whole returns to more of an even keel.

The researchers found that the mid-range sector was the most resilient, with shipments sliding 27.8 per cent on the year. High end servers slumped 40.4 per cent, while volume servers were down 34.2 per cent. Revenues for all CPU types were down in the mid 30s, IDC said, except Itanium-based machines, which were down 30.2 per cent, helping the platform actually increase its market share from 8.7 per cent to 9.3 per cent. RISC and x86 machines maintained their market share, while CISC machine revenues dropped 35.3 per cent.

Perhaps not surprisingly, blades saw the least decline, with revenues down just 9.9 per cent, while blades' market share climbed 4 percentage points to 13.9 per cent. IDC expects this "resilience" to continue into next year, as under the cosh firms continue to buy for consolidation and rationalisation.

HP's revenues were down 33.1 per cent to $1bn, and its market share shrunk 0.8 percentage points to 36.9 per cent. IBM's revenues slipped 32.7 per cent, with its market share increasing from 28.2 per cent to 28.9 per cent. Sun had the smallest revenue drop, 30.7 per cent, and increased its share from 11.4 per cent to 12 per cent.

Dell saw its revenues slump 39.9 per cent, with market share sliding from 9.7 per cent to 8.9 per cent, and could only take comfort from Fujitsu Siemens' even worse showing, with revenues down 47.1 per cent, and market share slipping from 8.4 per cent to 6.8 per cent. ®

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