After two consecutive years of substantial growth, Linux operating environment revenue declined by almost 5% in 2001 when compared to 2000. According to IDC, Linux fared better than most when compared to other platforms with the notable exception of Microsoft’s Windows, which was the only operating environment to experience positive revenue growth in 2001.
IDC expects spending on Linux operating environments to increase over the next five years from $80 million in 2001 to $280 million in 2006, a 28% compound annual growth rate (CAGR). Server operating environments new license shipments experienced flat growth from last year, while client unit shipment growth was up by nearly 50%. IDC research shows this surge in client operating environment (COE) shipments was driven largely by growth in Asia/Pacific, which contributed 34% of total new Linux COE and server operating environments (SOE) license shipments in 2001.
‘The previously strong growth of Linux SOE shipments was interrupted during 2001, but Red Hat still captured a dominant share of the SOE market,’ said Al Gillen, research director, system software at IDC. ‘We also saw China’s Red Flag and Brazil’s Conectiva make strong contributions to the Linux COE market, which continued to grow at a healthy pace.’
Despite the unconventional way Linux is bought and sold, it has become a mainstream choice for many particularly because the software is available either freely on the network or as a low-cost packaged product that can be deployed on low-cost, high-volume systems. Furthermore, Linux is often packaged with other open source software such as Samba for file/print services, Apache for Web services, and MySQL or PostgreSQL for data management, which makes it a highly functional and cost-effective environment.
IDC’s recently released Worldwide Linux Operating Environments Forecast and Analysis, 2002-2006: A Year in Transition examines the Linux operating environments market and provides leading vendor performances and profiles for 2001 through 2006. It also includes Linux COE and SOE new license revenue and free shipments covering 1999-2006 as well as installed based data for Linux and SOE products for 1999 through 2006.