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Windows Bumps Unix as Top Server OS 514

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the zomg-they-totally-hax dept.
Ivan writes " Windows narrowly bumped Unix in 2005 to claim the top spot in server sales for the first time, according to a new report from IDC. Computer makers sold $17.7 billion worth of Windows servers worldwide in 2005 compared with $17.5 billion in Unix servers, IDC analyst Matthew Eastwood said of the firm's latest Server Tracker market share report. "It's the first time Unix was not top overall since before the Tracker started in 1996.""
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Windows Bumps Unix as Top Server OS

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  • How long (Score:4, Interesting)

    by EraserMouseMan (847479) on Wednesday February 22, 2006 @10:02AM (#14775993)
    do you think it will last? Is Windows picking up momentum or is Unix losing momentum?
    • Re:How long (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 22, 2006 @10:07AM (#14776036)
      Maybe Windows servers just got more expensive, or Unix servers got less expensive. Perhaps a better study would talk about volume or usage -- or longevity. Perhaps Unix servers from 2002 simply lasted longer than Windows servers, so the companies using Unix didn't have to upgrade after 3 years.
      • Re:How long (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 22, 2006 @10:51AM (#14776359)
        I buy servers for my company all the time. A proprietry Unix box costs between 6 and 60 times as much as the average Intel box. Whether the Intel box has Windows or Linux makes no difference - we pay for both, and it is an insignificant slice of the cost.

        How many Windows boxes where replaced with Linux last year where I work? Answer: None. How many Unix systems where replaced with Linux? Answer: Hundreds.

        This is why Windows/Linux eats into HP-UX/AIX/Solaris market share.

        • Re:How long (Score:3, Insightful)

          by N3WBI3 (595976)
          The real question is where do we want to count Linux in all this. If, as you seem to be doing, we do not count Linux with UNIX then I am sure UNIX is receding in market share. I tend to count *Nix as including Linux which is far cheaper to implement (Especially across environments).
        • Re:How long (Score:5, Interesting)

          by fitten (521191) on Wednesday February 22, 2006 @11:32AM (#14776680)
          This is why Windows/Linux eats into HP-UX/AIX/Solaris market share.

          Years ago we knew that the first casualty of Linux would be the proprietary Unix companies. The workstations first and then the servers. Although Linux is advocated as a Windows replacement most of the time, it's an even better Unix replacement. As Linux improves, it will just hurt Unix more. A friend works at a place where they've replaced almost all their Sun servers with Linux servers except the cluster of V880s that they have to still run certain software packages (Solaris only binaries). I could easily see them replacing those boxes with multi-cpu/core Opteron boxes (maybe even from Sun) running Linux if they had that software available. This is a place that has purchased multiple Sun E10Ks and multiple SGI O2Ks and the like in the past. Now, they are mostly Linux except where they have entrenched software or have issues where they need large systems (32p and 64p) and Linux doesn't work on them for some reason or work well on them.
          • by Gary W. Longsine (124661) on Wednesday February 22, 2006 @03:17PM (#14778583) Homepage Journal
            Years ago we knew that the first casualty of Linux would be the proprietary Unix companies. The workstations first and then the servers.
            This seems to be conventional wisdom around these parts, but it's not backed up by evidence. The UNIX vendors that have died to date have nearly all been killed by inept management, including the next one expected to kick off any day now, SGI.

            Of course, they had some assistance from early Windows marketing hype and a lazy trade press that believed that Windows would take over the server market in 1992 or 1994 and continued to believe it for over a decade despite overwhelming evidence that the product wasn't ready for the enterprise server room.

            And Linux has been taking over the UNIX workstation market? Give me a break. That market has been dead for almost ten years. Windows took over the market niche formerly occupied by UNIX workstations (including X-Windows stations which were not full UNIX boxen) long before Linux was ready, and the market niche doesn't really exist any longer -- it became part of "the Windows Desktop".

            Although Linux hasn't killed off any UNIX vendors yet, they appear to be concerned by the possibility. IBM for example has been perfecting their AIX up-selling technique -- hook clients with Linux advertising, then up-sell them to AIX. They have a different term for it, migration analysis or something, which they do free for their customers. (Apparently it works well enough that one IBM group pays cash money to another IBM group to do it, such that the customers don't need to pay for the proposal, which says something like, "Gosh, who wouldda thunk? It turns out that your situation lends itself to an AIX solution after all. Shucks, it's a good thing we did this study or you would have been migrating to Linux and you wouldn't be able to leverage the AIX value proposition" or something like that.) IBM is also hedging its bets by making some more serious investments in Linux, and trying to create a market for Linux on IBM hardware, both Intel and Power based.

            Linux has been making inroads into the server market (as you illustrate by example) but it hasn't killed a UNIX vendor there yet. It's also making hay in the embedded systems market. In the process it is displacing some UNIX and some Windows, but also (and perhaps mainly thus far) growing into new areas where there were no dominant players (network linkup boxes were simpletons until fairly recently and didn't run a full operating system like modern switches do, for example). That didn't kill any UNIX vendors, either.

            Windows isn't a stationary target, of course. The expected growth of the product in the server market is finally happening, albeit ten years after the fact. This means the market thinks that Windows is an acceptable substitute for many of the former UNIX server tasks. Even if UNIX administrators have plenty of good reasons why it's not, clearly the show stopping problems which prevented its rise for the last ten years are behind it.

            The frame of reference seems even to have a waning validity. At the very least, analyzing the question for the past was fairly simple, but it becomes very much more complicated to analyze contemporary events through this lens, since most of the surviving UNIX vendors are also Linux vendors. Things have changed so much in the last several years that events won't make sense when viewed through this lens at all. Allow me to illustrate the problem:

            SGI probably sells more Linux than IRIX at this point. If and when SGI hacks up the last bloody phlem and finally dies, which of the following will have occurred?
            1. [ ] Windows killed a UNIX vendor
            2. [ ] Linux killed a UNIX vendor
            3. [ ] management ineptitude killed a UNIX vendor
            4. [ ] Windows killed a Linux vendor

            Hint: All of the above.
        • Re:How long (Score:4, Informative)

          by smoker2 (750216) on Wednesday February 22, 2006 @04:33PM (#14779208) Homepage Journal
          But basically, *nix servers outsold windows servers by $5.1 billion (that's UNIX and LINUX combined).

          So I guess there is a little breathing space yet ;-)

          Interestingly, if you RTFA and scroll down to the other links, you'll see "windows leads server OS pack for first time" last november ! [com.com]

          dupe or astroturf - you decide ...

      • Re:How long (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Lumpy (12016) on Wednesday February 22, 2006 @10:52AM (#14776369) Homepage
        How about the 12 servers we bought from dell without an OS that had linux installed on them? I know those were not counted. Or the 100+ servers acting as mpeg2 video routers in the headends that were also bought without an OS that has linux installed as well.

        I bet the number of intel based servers without an OS sold is far greater than the number sold with an OS.

        Unless they release ALL the data it's a worthless study. have dell release all server sales with and without OS. without OS will dominate nearly 2 to 1.

        • Re:How long (Score:5, Informative)

          by zootm (850416) on Wednesday February 22, 2006 @10:57AM (#14776404)

          How about the 12 servers we bought from dell without an OS that had linux installed on them? I know those were not counted. Or the 100+ servers acting as mpeg2 video routers in the headends that were also bought without an OS that has linux installed as well.

          Linux was listed in the ranking seperately (it came third, according to the article). Linux is not UNIX, so even if you bought it with Linux installed, it wouldn't have changed the relative positions of the two operating systems.

          I agree that Linux would have come higher if the eventual OS installs of servers with no OS installs had been recorded, though.

          • Re:How long (Score:5, Interesting)

            by Zeinfeld (263942) on Wednesday February 22, 2006 @11:55AM (#14776896) Homepage
            I agree that Linux would have come higher if the eventual OS installs of servers with no OS installs had been recorded, though.

            The researchers claim to have adjusted for that effect. Most servers are sold without an O/S because even machines bought as Windows boxes are likely to have the O/S loaded under a site license.

            The non-Linux market for UNIX continues to shrink. As it does machines move from expensive proprietary platforms like HP, Sun or AIX to commodity Intel/AMD boxes. This means that Linux is effectively handicapped against the traditional UNIX varieties in this race, as is Microsoft of course.

            Servers have been getting cheaper for years, the server market changes as a result. Forty years ago servers were mostly $1 million plus mainframes. Today its a definition thing, you can buy a 'server' for $100 in Frys and hang a printer off it.

            All the growth in the market comes at the bottom end as small businesses start to invest in infrastructure. A law office with ten employees using Windows XP is going to buy a Windows server, end of story. An ISP with 100 Linux boxes doing hosted web is going to buy Linux for machines 101, 102,...

            I don't think the survey is actually measuring real transitions. There is no compelling reason to move from Linux to Windows or from Windows to Linux if you have installed base. There is a huge cost incentive to move from proprietary UNIX to Linux. There is also a major incentive to introduce Windows Server systems to provide support infrastructure for networks of Windows machines.

            There are relatively few areas of overlap between Windows and Linux. Both can host Web sites, but once you have developed active server pages you are locked into Windows. Both can host a mail server, but people do not buy Exchange as just a mail server, the calendar features are the real value.

        • Unless they release ALL the data it's a worthless study. have dell release all server sales with and without OS. without OS will dominate nearly 2 to 1.

          2 to 1 in favor of servers without an OS huh?

          Well after consulting my very own set of non-existant/made-up data I must inform you that you are not even close! According to my data servers with an OS outnumber servers without an OS by more than 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000, 000 to 1!
      • Re:How long (Score:5, Insightful)

        by slashdotnickname (882178) on Wednesday February 22, 2006 @11:20AM (#14776569)
        Perhaps a better study would talk about volume or usage -- or longevity.

        Why would a market share report, whose audience is investors, want to report on that?

        Sure, Unix boxes last longer... plenty of studies have established that... but these people are tracking sales figures.
    • Re:How long (Score:5, Insightful)

      by PhrostyMcByte (589271) <phrosty@gmail.com> on Wednesday February 22, 2006 @10:14AM (#14776084) Homepage
      There are two ways I see to look at this:

      1. They say "$x billion worth" - I'd assume Windows servers are a little more expensive than *nix servers due to more licensing. The article doesn't touch on the actual number of servers sold. I've not had experience buying enterprise servers though...
      2. With many educational facilities teaching .NET in the past few years, it makes sense to see a bump in servers which might host ASP.NET. That will only increase, and I bet we'll see even more Windows servers this year.

      I guess the cause is probably somewhere in between.
    • Momentum... (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Savage-Rabbit (308260)
      do you think it will last? Is Windows picking up momentum or is Unix losing momentum?

      Or is it simply that Linux is chewing into UNIX market share? They way that headline sounds one might think this is a case of pure market share gain for Microsoft at the expense of UNIX which is probably not the case here.
    • Neither (Score:5, Insightful)

      by millahtime (710421) on Wednesday February 22, 2006 @10:52AM (#14776367) Homepage Journal
      The idea here is sales. This does not talk about usage, swithing, or anything else.

      So, all of the free downloads and installs are not counted here. Windows had a lot of sales, unix lost some and Linux increased in sales. That's dollars and cents not usage.

      With all of the free solaris downloads, linux downloads, and BSD downloads it's no suprise that unix purchases are going down. Why pay for it if you can get it free?
  • by PIPBoy3000 (619296) on Wednesday February 22, 2006 @10:04AM (#14776012)
    This probably reflects the massive number of smaller servers that are out there, which often have Windows installed. In our organization, Windows servers tend to have a single application on them (typically by request of the vendor), while our Unix and AS/400 servers tend to have dozens of applications on them.

    The irony is that Windows applications often "don't play well together", making it almost a requirement that they get a dedicated piece of hardware. As a reward for this problem, their rankings are boosted.
    • by Flying pig (925874) on Wednesday February 22, 2006 @10:13AM (#14776073)
      one word: VMWare

      two acronyms: ESX,GSX

      that should start to get the numbers down.

    • A number of dinosaurs is being surrounded with a lot of mammals...
    • You're (almost) right....

      I work for a small company just like the IBM ad., I am the IT department and my name's Dave. (Actually, my name's Tim, but I _am_ the IT department.)

      Because we have several systems which are partly maintained by different 3rd parties, we currently run 4 Windows servers (1xNT4 and 3xW2K).

      However, we _also_ have two Linux servers. One of them, is the main mail server and the other is the cvs repository.

      I should think that the number of "small" Linux boxes is now pretty close to the n
      • However, we _also_ have two Linux servers. One of them, is the main mail server and the other is the cvs repository.

        However, if you were running these on Big Iron Unix machines you'd have them both on the same server. There's no point in wasting the resources of a large machine on a single task.

        I should think that the number of "small" Linux boxes is now pretty close to the number of "small" Windows boxes.... but I doubt whether they come into these stats.

        Similarly, what about all the routers running Linux
    • I work for a small business, and let me tell you - small servers are like the freaking PLAGUE with windows. Every solution vendor wants their OWN server to themselves. I laugh every time I see MS ads talking about consolidation. That's news to me. The most humorous ad I've seen this year was from IBM where this guy is talking about "These generic servers, they keep multiplying... they must have a queen" -- too true.

      I've since stopped even trying to fight for "two things on one server". I've just seen them f
  • Servers (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Ford Prefect (8777) on Wednesday February 22, 2006 @10:04AM (#14776014) Homepage
    What about server hardware sold without an operating system?

    • Re:Servers (Score:4, Informative)

      by Syberghost (10557) <syberghost AT syberghost DOT com> on Wednesday February 22, 2006 @10:37AM (#14776268) Homepage
      What about server hardware sold without an operating system?

      It's counted. They're using a combination of methods, remember, and that includes asking those surveyed "how many servers did you buy without an operating system, and what operating system did you put on them?"
    • Re:Servers (Score:3, Insightful)

      by GuyverDH (232921)
      According to some *inside* information that I have, several vendors were required to *buy* MS licenses, regardless of which OS the customer was requesting to have pre-loaded on the hardware.

      So - for every box purchased, pre-loaded with Linux, it also generated a *sale* for Microsoft.

      Now, it's been a year or two since I last checked into this, so I cannot say whether or not this *agreement* is still in force. However, I would not be surprised to see this still be the case.
      • Re:Servers (Score:4, Interesting)

        by ajs318 (655362) <sd_resp2.earthshod@co@uk> on Wednesday February 22, 2006 @11:24AM (#14776594)
        ..... Which is why I make a point, anytime I am forced to buy software I will not be using, of "deregistering" my purchase. I send a letter to the vendor stating in no uncertain terms that I do NOT accept the EULA offered with the software and that I will consider my rights violated, with the Usual Consequences, if I am counted amongst its registered users.
        • Re:Servers (Score:3, Insightful)

          by bcattwoo (737354)
          that I will consider my rights violated, with the Usual Consequences, if I am counted amongst its registered users.

          and what rights would those be?

          • Re:Servers (Score:3, Funny)

            by aardvarkjoe (156801)
            The right to not be counted after accepting a EULA is Amendment 47 to the Slashdot constitution. It's between Amendment 46, the right to read Slashdot at work, and Amendment 48, the right to eat Cheetos without getting fat.
  • Well... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by endrue (927487) on Wednesday February 22, 2006 @10:05AM (#14776021)

    Okay - but are they equal in sale price?

    What weighs more, a ton of bricks or a ton of feathers? They both weigh the same but you do end up with a lot more feathers.

    • by tizzyD (577098) <tizzyd.gmail@com> on Wednesday February 22, 2006 @10:51AM (#14776363) Homepage

      It is incredibly difficult to produce a "market" leader measure without some consideration to the way that the market is measured. Fundamentally, that method determines the leader. Consider the obvious:

      • If you measure by units sold in a particular month, you would miss a sizable chunk of the market. How? Well, for nearly every 4 years, every system I installed at SMBs (small to mid-size businesses) was either Debian or Gentoo. As such, there was no direct cost associated with those units, but they were the foundations of many applications, file and print services, email services, directory services, databases, etc. More and more, as much of the functionality of a file and print server is commoditized, it can be handled more cost effectively by Linux, Samba, and other OS apps. Therefore, since these items incur no revenue in the market to a company, they would not be counted. Thus the distortion.
      • If you consider units deployed, you have a difficult data mining challenge. How do you collect the vast amounts of data? As a researcher at times, you'd have to subscribe a number of organizations--we're talking hundreds--and then over the span of years, see what their deployment considerations are. From that measure, you can more accurately determine the statistically valid (within 5% perhaps) measure of deployed systems, more accurately demonstrating a market. It's a market, but in a different way, that is, for ancilliary products and services, upgrades, etc.
      • If you measure a market by sales, you distort the market by not considering all forms of distributed products. When I install a MS system, there typically is required a number of ancilliary products that must be installed, including things like SQL Server (to hold the LDAP store). Are these sales counted as part of the market? Without Active Directory, you almost can't do anything else--SharePoint, Exchange, etc. Therefore, it is almost a component of the OS. On a comparable *nix, you would simply use a compliant LDAP system, but then, you would not consider it part of the OS. Considering the LDAP may be from another company, it further distorts the true market.

      The market measure should be considered a dubious statistic, much like a political one. Raising the overall spending on education means nothing. Raising the overall spending per student, that means something. If you raise overall spending per student in constant dollars (inflation adjusted dollars), now you are really producing an accurate measure. The fact that most people can't understand basic comparisons--read the book Innumeracy [amazon.com] by John Allen Paulos--leads to this fallacy of a measurement.

  • by Fr05t (69968) on Wednesday February 22, 2006 @10:05AM (#14776023)
    I have not RTFA, but I would guess the reason MS beat Unix is because Linux is picking up. I'm curious how much of this is real 'gain' for MS, vs Unix 'loss'.

    • by squiggleslash (241428) on Wednesday February 22, 2006 @10:14AM (#14776085) Homepage Journal
      That's correct:
      And in another first, fast-growing Linux took third place, bumping machines with IBM's mainframe operating system, z/OS. Linux server sales grew from $4.3 billion in 2004 to $5.3 billion in 2005, while mainframes dropped from $5.7 billion to $4.8 billion over the same period, Eastwood said.
      The major issue here is that GNU/Linux is growing in marketshare.

      Probably worth adding that in many shops I know, every new server-type application that requires Windows gets its own Windows box, whereas people seem to understand the concept of "multitasking" with Unix and GNU based platforms, which is another thing that probably distorts the figures. That is, suppose my employer sells "StatisticStats" to Target, WalMart, and K-Mart. If we've written it as a web application, we'll deploy it one-(or-more)-CPUs-per-customer with all three (ie three servers) if we're doing it under IIS, whereas we'll centralize it unless it really starts becoming a resource hog if we deploy it under GNU/Linux.

      I don't really understand why, except in that Windows does a lot to hide the underlying system to the point that it becomes easier just to throw a new box at each job than spend the time getting the different parts to work. It shouldn't be like this, IIS is pretty versatile, it just... is.

    • I agree.

      We have to run a seperate server for each app that requires Windows as the server. So, instead of one server to run the apps we have four.

      Our Linux servers do multiple duties. Same goes for the Novell servers we use. They all perform multiple tasks on top of the standard filesharing and print q's.

      We had to pay for each copy of Windows server, Linux was free to install anywhere and the Novell is a site license per student so we can install it as many times as we want without additional fees.

  • by Lemurmania (846869) on Wednesday February 22, 2006 @10:05AM (#14776024)
    Sometimes you want to patch, reboot and repeat. Stability is so *boring*.
  • by realnowhereman (263389) <andyparkins@gmail. c o m> on Wednesday February 22, 2006 @10:06AM (#14776025)
    Way to go Microsoft! In the Window's versus Linux war, sales is the comparison you will always win!

    Could it possibly be that Unix server sales are down because Unix servers (non-free) are being replaced with Linux servers (free)? How surprising would it then be that the dollar value spent on servers is lower for Unix?
    • It is sales of servers with the OS on them. Not sales of the OS. So more servers were sold that run Windows than those sold that run Unix.
      • ...which skews the numbers even more. Microsoft's pricing schemes make it much more economical for small businesses to buy Windows with the system, while *nix systems don't have that same price advantage.

        An administrator is a lot more likely to purchase a system without an OS and obtain his *nix distribution seperately, as there is no cost benefit and it gives him the ability to install and configure the OS without having to wipe a factory install.
        • by NutscrapeSucks (446616) on Wednesday February 22, 2006 @10:27AM (#14776184)
          Microsoft actually makes products designed for small businesses and storefront integration shops, whereas Linux distributors focus almost exclusively on the Enterprise Fortune 500 market. MS-SBS is pretty much a "install-and-go" type product for single-server environments, There's also tons of training and marketing support for the integrator.

          I don't think there's any equivalent in the Linux world that doesn't require a lot of *nix talent for customization. (And the actual amount of *nix talent in the small biz market is practically zero.)

          So, as long as the Linux world is so focused on Wall Street, it shouldn't be a suprise that Windows is outselling them on Main Street.
      • It is sales of servers with the OS on them. Not sales of the OS. So more servers were sold that run Windows than those sold that run Unix.

        This would then suggest that Microsoft's should arrange things such that you need as many servers as possible, at greatest hardware cost possible, in order to win the sales numbers game.

        "Oh, Mr. Customer, it would be best practice to run that Exchange server on its own isolated box. And run that IIS server on a different box. And, um, you should run that SQL Ser

      • Of course they were, that was my point. We're measuring sales of something that is sold against something that isn't sold. What a surprise that the thing that is sold wins in that comparison. However, it is a pointless exercise and doesn't give any useful information one way or the other.
  • Comp Sci courses that are paid by Microsoft for this. Sad day indeed.
  • not necessarily (Score:5, Insightful)

    by lucas teh geek (714343) on Wednesday February 22, 2006 @10:06AM (#14776030)
    doesnt this really just suggest that windows servers need regular replacing to keep doing their job while old unix hardware keeps doing its job just fine?
    • Re:not necessarily (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Fished (574624) <amphigory&gmail,com> on Wednesday February 22, 2006 @10:31AM (#14776226)
      I have a Solaris web server with an uptime of 2436 days. It's last outage was when we moved it from one location to another. 'nuff said.


      (Yes, it should have been patched, etc., but as it turns out this server is running Solaris 2.5.1, and everyone forgot it was there. the amazing thing is that it has run for over 6 YEARS without a reboot.)

    • Re:not necessarily (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Lee_in_KC (816490) on Wednesday February 22, 2006 @10:37AM (#14776265)

      "doesnt this really just suggest that windows servers need regular replacing to keep doing their job while old unix hardware keeps doing its job just fine?"

      No.

      If you are making a living in IT you know that you are still replacing servers as they roll off warranty and as they are fully depreciated. I'd no more put one of my Oracle databases on an old Linux machine than an old Windows machine. Requirements always go up, not down. Saying you can run Linux on older hardware is a misleading statement.

      I suppose if a company is using Linux because it was free, or using UNIX of some form because it "runs on older hardware" they get what they deserve anyway - that's not the way to run an IT shop.

      The change is likely due to the increase in blade-type systems which are well suited to a Windows environment. You can use a UNIX server environment and have interoperability with the end-users' desktop systems and the domain security model, but when you can just plug another cheap blade in and not have to worry about a third party authentication scheme, it makes Windows a pretty easy choice. Some of the arguments posted about not being able to run more than one app are not a shortcoming in the OS but rather a shortcoming in the developers. Plus, who cares if you need 5x$1000 blades to run 5 apps on Windows? It would cost more than $5000 to get the same sort of horsepower in a UNIX box.

      Tools my friends, these are just tools. They don't know or care if you religiously defend them. Your IT careers will be more successful if you learn to use a variety of tools, each what is appropriate for the job.

  • Linux? (Score:4, Informative)

    by Rob T Firefly (844560) on Wednesday February 22, 2006 @10:06AM (#14776031) Homepage Journal
    From TFA:

    And in another first, fast-growing Linux took third place, bumping machines with IBM's mainframe operating system, z/OS. Linux server sales grew from $4.3 billion in 2004 to $5.3 billion in 2005, while mainframes dropped from $5.7 billion to $4.8 billion over the same period, Eastwood said.

    "Sales" being the operative word. How would one fit the free Linux options into this equation, I wonder?
    • Perhaps they mean machines with Linux on them?
    • Re:Linux? (Score:2, Interesting)

      by bubulubugoth (896803)
      Simple, Linux isnt cheap for opterons, powers, and "enterprise class distributions/support".

      SuSe for OpenPower costs about 800 usd.

      Redhat AES, the same, BUT, redhat charges you by installation, so, virtualization is more expensive with Redhat than SuSe.

      Also, since IBMs OpenPower Machines, only runs on linux, they eat a chunk of market to aix (pseries), and even more, HPs Intanium and Opteron, run with linux, add this redhat/suse sales from Dell, and you will have a very and rich environment...

      You still can
    • Re:Linux? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by hey! (33014)
      In related news, goose has supplanted duck as the second most popular fowl. Knazzles moved up to fourth place with sales growth that exactly mirrors the declining popularity of duck. Knazzles are a new fowl that walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, and tastes like a duck, but is not a duck.
  • Pretty silly..... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by countach (534280) on Wednesday February 22, 2006 @10:10AM (#14776053)
    Pretty silly to count Unix and Linux separately.
    • No, it isn't. (Score:3, Insightful)

      by sczimme (603413)

      Pretty silly to count Unix and Linux separately.

      No, it isn't; it would be silly to lump them together.

      TFA was about sales. There are commercial Unix variants that cost money; Linux by itself does not. (There may be costs, e.g. when the Linux vendor includes N months of support, but this is not the same as paying for the OS.) Lumping 'non-free' and 'free' [as in beer] together would be like putting two dissimilar things in the same category.

      :-)
    • How many windows desktops end up as Linux servers?

      Certainly we have dozens of the things. Old, but maxed out desktops acting as essentially disposable servers running some critical network services (redundantly). I think we *might* have purchased one real Linux server, from Dell, or did it come with Windows automatically? I forget. So our ratio is more than 20:1. Makes a nonsense of the sales figures.

       
    • Wrong, sorry... (Score:3, Informative)

      by killmenow (184444)
      It would be pretty stupid to lump UNIX and Linux sales together, given that Linux is not UNIX. As far as I can tell, not a single Linux distribution is certified against the Single UNIX Specification [unix.org], which any Operating System must be in order to be UNIX.

      They share similarities to be sure, but they are not the same and should not be lumped together any more than Windows and Linux should be lumped together.
  • We purchased five brand new Dell rackmountable servers last month. When we got them, we burned in some linux and threw the windows disks in the trash...
    • by jimicus (737525) on Wednesday February 22, 2006 @10:16AM (#14776103)
      We purchased five brand new Dell rackmountable servers last month. When we got them, we burned in some linux and threw the windows disks in the trash...

      Seeing as Dell doesn't force you to buy an operating system with their servers, why did you bother buying them in the first place?
      • They got snookered by their rep, telling them they had to have an OS with them, or they thought the same- and Windows is the only option, in many cases, from Dell's website and their reps.
      • Seeing as Dell doesn't force you to buy an operating system with their servers, why did you bother buying them in the first place?

        Maybe spottedkangeroo is a shopaholic.

        -Eric

      • Probably didn't, but claiming to have thrown away Microsoft software that probably accounted for a significant portion of the cost of the hardware is "cool" on /. and gets you "geek cred".
    • Sure ya did, especially since Dell doesn't make you buy an operating system. Tell me, how much did the copies of Windows Server 2k3 that you through in the trash cost? Perhpas your company needs to reevaluate your employment?
  • Unix != Linux (Score:5, Interesting)

    by AntiDragon (930097) on Wednesday February 22, 2006 @10:13AM (#14776081)
    The numbers - they make me sleepy...

    But note that the article mentions the growth of both Linux _and_ Windows. This is really about the ongoing decline of pure UNIX mainfarmes - something we've all been aware of for years.

    The fact that Windows OS now outnumbers UNIX boxes is neither suprising nor noteworthy. They've been chipping away at the server market for ages. Bound to happen eventually.

    But what I would be more interested in is out of all these switchers, what's the ratio that switch to Linux compared to Windows? Linux growth is faster (Upgrades along the Windows path don't count, we're talking complete platform migration) I believe. But naturally the title of the article gives enough bias to encourage readers to miss that little tidbit. Or maybe using the phrase "Windows beats Unix" is the journalistic equivalent of shouting "Fire!" when it comes to grabbbing attention... :D

  • IDC Server Study (Score:4, Insightful)

    by NutscrapeSucks (446616) on Wednesday February 22, 2006 @10:15AM (#14776095)
    It seems like this study gets published about every two weeks on Slashdot, and everyone has misconceptions about it.

    The funny thing is that people's reactions are entirely based on the headline. If Slashdot runs the story as "Linux Server Revenue Up!", half the comments are about Microsoft going out of business or whatever. If they run the larger Windows numbers in the headline, everyone complains.

    Anyway -- Here's a laundry list of objections that will no doubt appear:

    + This study doesn't count the servers I have running Gentoo/Debian/etc
    -- Most of the revenue reported is actually hardware, so yes it does

    + How would they know what I'm running on my servers? I didn't get a preinstalled OS
    -- User surveys, statistical methods, etc. It's not an exact count.

    + My *nix servers have 234 CPUs and run more applications than my Windows servers
    -- Because the survey counts $$$ and not CPU or box counts, this sorta works itself out, but I guess this is valid.

    + We put Linux on our i486-33 Servers
    -- Who cares? IDC doesn't, they're counting new server revenue.
  • I don't let a little thing such as a (tm) get in the way of a good argument. I lump the two together because for all the reasons that matter they are the same. Speaking as a Unix admin, of course.

    But I wonder how they determined what list to put a purchase in when a company buys somthing like an HP Proliant server. I've worked places where there are racks and racks of DL360s running Unix and other places where they are Windows. Seems like a somewhat dubious report.

  • Don't get me wrong, many organization do pay for Linux service/support for service, however, on the ends of the spectrum many organizations do small installs.

    Small business, bulk hosting companies, and realy gigantic companies tend to roll their own Linux or use Free as in Beer distributions. Look at Google, for example. Note that Debian controls 16% of the linux server market: http://www.computerweekly.com/Article1319 [computerweekly.com]

    That's 16% that goes unrepresented in marketshare numbers. Sun's OSS Solaris is going to h
  • As a system administrator who has recently spent time trying to mitigate the security consequences of using NFS for a large campus network, I wonder if Windows may not have some advantages.

    NFS security is Unix security writ large and networked: if it's not root it's not important. If your machine has the right IP, and you've got root on the box, switch your UID and NFS gives you all priviliges for that user. And NFS is the ubiquitous Unix Network Filesystem! Goddamn, what a security mess. I'm looking a
    • Re:Unix servers (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Medievalist (16032)

      As a system administrator who has recently spent time trying to mitigate the security consequences of using NFS for a large campus network, I wonder if Windows may not have some advantages.

      I feel for you, but I've had extensive experience in both, and I can tell you that SMB/CIFS is just as bad as NFS.

      NFS security is Unix security writ large and networked: if it's not root it's not important. If your machine has the right IP, and you've got root on the box, switch your UID and NFS gives you all privilige

  • The question, about 2-3 years down the road, is how many companies will become disenchanted with their flaky Windows servers, wipe them clean, and install Linux on them? Up front sales are nice and put money in the pockets, but latency is a far more important measue of who's winning.

  • How can you sell something that is FREE???? How many unaccounted UNIX installations are free software downloaded from the net or CDs installed on 50 servers?
  • Sales != Usage (Score:3, Insightful)

    by rtblmyazz (592071) on Wednesday February 22, 2006 @10:26AM (#14776176)
    Folks, don't confuse sales with usage. There's no accurate way to count Linux sales. Even if you count commercial distro sales, it still can't reflect true Linux usage. Take a deep breath and understand what the statistic is saying.

    { Waiting for Microsoft evil empire conspiracy posts... }
  • Free servers (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jamesl (106902) on Wednesday February 22, 2006 @10:28AM (#14776192)
    Maybe its because Sun is giving away servers. For free. No cost. And each free server would add ... let me think ... ummm ... zero dollars to the total.
    http://blogs.sun.com/roller/page/jonathan/20051218 / [sun.com]

    Maybe not.
    • Re:Free servers (Score:3, Informative)

      by HaydnH (877214)
      Actually they aren't giving them away, they're letting you trial them for 60 days. Some customers who create a comparative report (to another os or chipset server) might get to keep their server - most will have to buy or return it, from sun.com:

      "Thank you for your interest in our Try and Buy Offer. For a limited time, Sun is offering qualified customers a free 60-day trial of the world's first eco-responsible server, the Sun Fire T2000 server. And, it's easy...Your complete responses allow us to instant
  • inevitable rise (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DeveloperAdvantage (923539) on Wednesday February 22, 2006 @10:30AM (#14776215) Homepage
    Microsoft's success on the server side was unavoidable for a number of reasons:

    1. They dominate the desktop, which gives them excellent exposure to all the business leaders who actually make the decisions about what software to purchase.

    2. Their products are reasonably stable (although individual applications sometimes crash, like Outlook, my desktop, Windows XP Pro, hasn't blue screened in a long time!). All the patches are quite inconvenient too.

    3. They have a huge amount of money to put into their development tools and .NET platform. They can acquire alot of smart people who will do good work for them.

    4. The huge increases in performance available on a simple "desktop" servers, say compared with 5 years ago, has enabled fairly complex applications to be run on them. (This is also helps linux grow). 5 years ago a person who would have suggested putting Oracle on windows would get laughed at, now at least if people laugh it is not as loud or as long.

    5. Microsoft knows how to profit from software, whereas many of the unix companies counted on making profits from hardware. Not a good business to be in when cost keeps falling so drastically for a given level of performance.

    It has taken them a long time to come this far, I think longer than most people anticipated, but now they have achieved a significant level of success.
    • I think you missed a big factor -- which is that Microsoft knows their server market -- Intranet -- and concentrates products there -- ActiveDirectory, Exchange, SMS, File+Print, and so on.

      Meanwhile, the *nix world concentrates on Internet hosting and Enterprise Applications (Java/Oracle/etc).In most cases Windows servers don't even compete with Unix servers because the strength of the application-set is almost entirely different. Many or even most companies actually buy both, depending on their needs (shoc
    • by typical (886006) on Wednesday February 22, 2006 @12:15PM (#14777069) Journal
      Look at the numbers. They are *dollar values*. They are not "number of installed servers this year". There's a reason for that.

      You know whose lunch Linux has been eating? Solaris's. AIX's. HP/UX's.

      You know how much a typical Solaris deployment with commercial servers would have cost? Right. $$$.

      You know how much a typical *Linux* server costs? Right. In most cases, nothing. Sure, you can get Red Hat Enterprise and use a commercial Apache replacement and a commercial ssh, but that isn't what most Linux servers I'm aware of are running.

      This has been making the dollar size of the market drop like a stone. That says nothing about amount of deployments. That just says that Sun and friends are bringing a lot less money home than they used to, and it's staying with the people who are using the servers.

      "Windows Bumps Unix as Top Server OS"? Hardly. "Windows Bumps Unix as Most Expensive Server OS", perhaps.
  • by bfree (113420) on Wednesday February 22, 2006 @10:31AM (#14776219)
    Doesn't this help the EU Competition Authority to argue that Microsoft is actively extending their monopoly on desktops into the server market? Does it therefore also suggest that for once a "government" is acting on something in time, saving a market from an extending monopoly before the monopoly covers the second market? It doesn't do anything to make Microsoft comply with court orders though.
  • by BlueScreenOfTOM (939766) on Wednesday February 22, 2006 @10:32AM (#14776231)
    Upon hearing the news, Steve Ballmer was happy to hear that his long-thought-out plan to Fucking Kill(TM) UNIX was well underway. When he asked what was next, his advisers told him he'd have to wait, as the database of things to Fucking Kill(TM) had grown too large for Windows to handle so it had to be converted to a UNIX box.
    Steve Ballmer is now in the process of Fucking Kill(TM)ing his entire staff.
  • One, they sold more in "value"... maybe they just charged more per?

    Also, maybe people were happy with their reliable Unix servers that were installed years ago, and just didn't need to replace them. These figures don't say much about the actual used, installed base.
  • By installing Windows, IT managers and execs need only the 800-number lifeline versus paying a IT professional to manage an open source-based system. I have seen too many times a Unix system replaced with x86s running Wintel and employees shown the door immediately afterwards. Canning people does wonders for taxes, social security matching, paying into insurance plans, etc. Microsoft says people are not a good investment.
  • There is one other thing that I've noticed that people have not been mentioning. Yes, Linux and Solaris are free, so they're not valid comparisons just based on that. But no one seems to take into account anything about longevity or durability.

    For example, anyone who has worked with Sun hardware knows that for the most part Sun servers are built like frickin' tanks. Even Sparc 10s and 20s are still in heavy use my a lot of major corporations for small tasks, like test servers, low-capacity web servers
  • in other news (Score:3, Insightful)

    by DaveJay (133437) on Wednesday February 22, 2006 @03:23PM (#14778625)
    I have two economy cars, and one minivan. The minivan cost more than twice what the economy cars cost. For the first time in history, minivan sales have taken the lead over econony car sales in my household!

    (sigh)

They are relatively good but absolutely terrible. -- Alan Kay, commenting on Apollos

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