Windows, Linux grow while Unix stays flat (but undefeated)

Stability, not great growth, the market's mode

Windows and Linux operating systems are getting an ever-growing share of data center environments, as inexpensive x86 servers take over jobs once the domain of Unix operating systems, said Gartner.

But Unix use remains core in data centers, and while its revenue share is predicted to stay flat for the next five years -- from US$16.4 billion this year to US$16 billion in 2012 -- Gartner analysts this week said users of major Unix systems from Sun Microsystems, IBM and Hewlett-Packard Co. have nothing to worry about.

"Nobody is achieving great growth, but nobody is dying," said Gartner analyst John Enck, of the major Unix systems, adding that "there is stability."

Gartner, at its data center conference this week, said Windows is expected to get US$19.6 billion this year rising to US$22.2 billion by 2012. Linux, meanwhile, will grow from US$8.6 billion to US$12.2 billion over that same period.

"As a market, we want less complexity, we want fewer operating systems," said Enck.

Users will also continue to seek to simplify their environment, often by cutting back on the number of operating systems where possible. In an audience poll, the majority of attendees -- 80 percent -- were either reducing the number of supported operating systems or maintaining that number, with just one-fifth opting to add to their operating system mix.

Reducing the number of supported operating systems in a data center is easier said then done, said Frank Muller, senior director of IT technology and infrastructure support at HealthPartners, a health care provider, who was at the conference.

Muller said he supports AIX, Windows, Linux, a mainframe system and HPUX. When he asked the provider of one application that runs on HPUX to move it to AIX, the vendor complied. So far so good.

But a year and half later, Muller said he ended up moving the application back to HPUX because he couldn't get the vendor's long-term support for keeping the application on AIX. "If the vendor isn't there from an application-point of view, I don't think you will make much headway," he said.

The total operating system in the server market is just over US$54 billion this year, with US$9.5 billion in the category of "other" encompassing all the other operating systems such as OpenVMS, mainframe operating systems and other Unix systems.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Patrick Thibodeau

Computerworld
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?