IDC: Linux Revenues Declined in 2001

But It's Big in China

Linux revenues dropped by 5 percent in 2001 compared to 2000, but the flagship for open source did better than every other operating environment other than Windows last year, according to analysts at market research firm IDC.

Those analysts also predict a rosy future for Linux with a compound annual growth rate of 28 percent ending with revenues in 2006 of $280 million.

The 5 percent decline in 2001 to $80 million in revenues followed two years of substantial revenue growth for Linux. Microsoft was the only operating system to show positive revenue growth in 2001.

In terms of shipments rather than revenues, server operating environments experienced flat growth but Linux clients boomed -- up by nearly 50 percent largely due to activity in Asia.

"The previously strong growth of Linux [Server Operating Environment] shipments was interrupted during 2001, but Red Hat still captured a dominant share of the SOE market," Al Gillen, research director, system software at IDC, said in a statement. "We also saw China's Red Flag and Brazil's Conectiva make strong contributions to the Linux [Client Operating Environment] market, which continued to grow at a healthy pace."

According to IDC, Linux has become a mainstream choice for many infrastructure workloads because it can be obtained for free or at a low cost for low-cost, high-volume systems.

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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