Gartner said the market for OS software grew nearly 8 percent to $30.4 billion in 2010, led by Microsoft Windows.
According to the Gartner market research firm, worldwide
operating system revenue grew 7.8 percent to $30.4 billion in
2010, with Microsoft Windows continuing to lead the market by a wide margin.
Linux server and Mac OS were the fastest-growing sub-segments
in the server and client OS segments, respectively, while Microsoft maintained
its leading position in the overall OS market, with 78.6 percent market share.
client OSes outperformed server OSes and grew 9.3 percent in 2010, while the
server OS segment grew 5.7 percent," said Matthew Cheung, principal
research analyst at Gartner, in a statement. "The long-pending demand for
PC refreshment was unleashed as the economy stepped out from the economic
turndown, which drove growth of client OSes."
client OSes, 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, gartner said. Windows client was still the largest client
OS segment, with high-single-digit growth, particularly driven by adoption of
Windows 7 and the imminent end of life (EOL) of Windows XP, Gartner said.
Mac OS grew 15.8 percent to a size of $520 million in 2010,
fueled by the strong sales of Mac desktops and laptops. Apple's making of Mac
OS as a "cool" client computing OS has attracted a group of loyal
customers on Mac devices and platforms, Gartner said. And Apple's continuous
innovations in mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, have prompted
sales of other Apple devices and will continue to drive Mac sales, the research
the server OS market, Linux was the fastest-growing subsegment in 2010
as end users adopted more open-standard systems," said Alan Dayley,
president at Gartner, in a statement. "Within the Unix OS market, IBM
high single-digit growth, but Unix generally experienced modest or
growth," "The EOL threat for Unix OSes such as Tru64 and NetWare
pushed the 'other proprietary Unix' subsegment down 39.6 percent in
some vendors retired their proprietary Unix and moved users to more
distant second- and third-place vendors behind Microsoft's 78.6 percent market
share in 2010 were IBM and HP, with 7.5 percent and 3.7 percent share, respectively.
Oracle climbed up the ranking from No. 8 in 2009 to No. 4 in 2010 by acquiring
Sun Microsystems' Solaris business in April 2009.
Microsoft's Windows client business had higher growth at 9.2
percent, compared with its Windows server business at 7.5 percent growth, the
Gartner report showed. A new wave of PC refreshment after the economic
recession was the major reason for the better-performing Windows client
business. Windows 7 also gained market acceptance as the successor to Windows
Vista and XP, Gartner said. The projected EOL of XP in early 2014 drove
enterprises to accelerate migration to Windows 7 in the second half of 2010.
In an April 22 blog post, Microsoft announced that Windows 7
had sold more than 350
in the 18 months it has been available. In that post on The
, Microsoft said: "Analyst firms like IDC estimate that more
than 90% of businesses are currently in progress with their Windows 7
migrations. And we've seen that companies who have deployed Windows 7 save an
average of $140 per PC per year - showing a 131% return on investment in just
more than 12 months."
Meanwhile, among the three OSes owned by IBM, AIX experienced
the highest growth at 9.2 percent 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 percent in 2010,
HP-UX was able to maintain modest growth at 3.7 percent in 2010. However, HP's
revenue from proprietary Unix and other proprietary OSes continued to decline
because of the discontinuation of Tru64 and a decline in shipments of
business-critical systems, such as NonStop and OpenVMS.
facing the realities of the market, Oracle's software revenue from
declined 3.2 percent in 2010 as users were skeptical about Oracle's
commitment to the Solaris platform-although the company made several
announcements to clear this anxiety, Gartner said. Oracle's Linux
also known as Unbreakable Linux, grew a small base almost 200 percent
in 2010-which also showed Oracle's strategy to lessen its dependence on
Unix or Linux OSes.
And, for its part, Red Hat has been dominating the commercial Linux server
market, Gartner said. Revenue of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) server license
went up 18.6 percent to $592 million in 2010, claiming a 58.2 percent share of
the Linux server market. Gartner analysts said the phenomenon demonstrates that
the market has accepted Linux as a viable alternative to Unix and other
proprietary OSes in mission-critical environments.