Microsoft remained the leader in the overall OS market followed by IBM and HP
Worldwide operating system (OS) software market revenue grew to $30.4bn in 2010, a 7.8% increase from 2009, according to a report by information technology research firm Gartner.
Microsoft remained the leader in the overall OS market, with 78.6% market share, while Linux (server) and Mac OS were the fastest-growing subsegments in the server and client OS segments, respectively, the report said.
Matthew Cheung, principal research analyst at Gartner, said generally, client OSs outperformed server OSs and grew 9.3% in 2010, while the server OS segment grew 5.7%."
"The long-pending demand for PC refreshment was unleashed as the economy stepped out from the economic turndown, which drove growth of client Oss," he added.
Among client OSs, Mac OS was the fastest-growing subsegment in 2010 as the unit shipments of Mac desktop/laptop devices saw strong sales, although from a much-smaller basis.
Still the largest client OS segment, Windows client saw high-single-digit growth, particularly driven by adoption of Windows 7 and the imminent end of life (EOL) of Windows XP.
Gartner managing vice president Alan Dayley said, "In the server OS market, Linux (server) was the fastest-growing subsegment in 2010 as end users adopted more open-standard systems. Within the Unix OS market, IBM AIX had high single-digit growth, but Unix generally experienced modest or negative growth."
"The EOL threat for Unix OSs such as Tru64 and NetWare pushed the ‘other proprietary Unix’ subsegment down 39.6 per cent in 2010 as some vendors retired their proprietary Unix and moved users to more open systems."
Microsoft held the largest market share of the worldwide OS software segment, with 78.6% share in 2010, followed by IBM and HP, with 7.5% and 3.7% share, respectively.
Gartner said that Oracle’s acquisition of Sun Microsystems’ Solaris business in April 2009 has helped Oracle to climb up the ranking from No. 8 in 2009 to No. 4 in 2010.
Microsoft’s Windows (client) business had higher growth at 9.2%, compared with its Windows (server) business at 7.5 per cent growth. The Windows (client) business growth was attributed to a new wave of PC refreshment after the economic recession.
Windows 7 also gained market acceptance as the successor to Windows Vista and XP. The projected EOL of XP in early 2014 drove organisations to accelerate migration to Windows 7 in the second half of 2010, Gartner said.
Among the three OSs owned by IBM, AIX experienced the highest growth at 9.2% due to the popularity of Power Systems. The consolidation of the System p and System i platforms and the strategy to push more AIX contributed to the slow growth of System i at 2.7% in 2010.
HP-UX was able to maintain modest growth at 3.7 per cent in 2010. However, there has been a decline in HP’s revenue from proprietary Unix and other proprietary OSs due to the discontinuation of Tru64 and a decline in shipments of business-critical systems, such as NonStop and OpenVMS.
Oracle’s software revenue from Solaris declined 3.2% in 2010 as end users were sceptical about Oracle’s commitment to the Solaris platform — although the company made several announcements to clear this anxiety.
Oracle’s Linux versions (also known as Unbreakable Linux) grew a small base almost 200% in 2010 — which also showed Oracle’s strategy to lessen its dependence on other vendors’ Unix or Linux OSs.
Revenue of Red Hat Enterprise Linux server license went up 18.6% to $592m in 2010, taking a 58.2% share of the Linux (server) market. This demonstrates that the market has accepted Linux as a viable alternative to Unix and other proprietary OSs in mission-critical environments, said Gartner analysts.
Mac OS grew 15.8% to a size of $520m in 2010, fuelled by the strong sales of Mac desktops and laptops, Gartner said.