$30.4 Billion OS System Market Up Almost 8 Percent: Gartner

Driven by a recovering global economy recovered, worldwide operating system (OS) revenue totaled $30.4 billion in 2010, a 7.8 percent increase from 2009, according to Gartner, Inc. And, no surprise, Microsoft leads the pack.

The technology giant will be launching the Microsoft-hosted version of its Lync unified-communications server, Lync Online, alongside the rest of Office 365 this summer, according to ZDNet.

Lync is the successor to Microsoft’s Online Communications Server product. The on-premises version of Lync includes enterprise instant messaging, audio and video conferencing, support for presence and voice-over-IP (VOIP). 

According to Gartner, Linux and Mac OS were the fastest-growing subsegments in the server and client OS segments, while Microsoft maintained its leading position in the overall OS market, with 78.6 percent market share.

Matthew Cheung, principal research analyst at Gartner, says businesses grew more confident in 2010, which drove the growth of client operating systems.

“Generally, client OSs outperformed server OSs and grew 9.3 percent in 2010, while the server OS segment grew 5.7 percent,” said Cheung.  “The long-pending demand for PC refreshment was unleashed as the economy stepped out from the economic turndown, which drove growth of client OSs.”

According to Gartner, 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. 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.

Alan Dayley, managing vice president at Gartner, says 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,” said Dayley. “The EOL threat for Unix OSs such as Tru64 and NetWare pushed the 'other proprietary Unix' subsegment down 39.6 percent 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 percent share in 2010, according to Gartner’s findings. The distant second- and third-place vendors 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.

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