Linux showing signs of solid growth: IDC study

Linux spending totaled US$21 billion in 2007 and is expected to grow past US$50 billion in 2011

Workloads running on Linux servers are shifting to become more business oriented, including databases and line-of-business applications, and the operating system appears headed for measurable growth over the next three years, according to a white paper released Tuesday by IDC.

The report entitled "The Role of Linux Servers and Commercial Workloads" was sponsored by the Linux Foundation, which opens its second annual summit Tuesday. The nonprofit Linux Foundation is a consortium of open source developers and companies.

The IDC paper found that total Linux spending -- including customer acquisitions of hardware, software and related services -- totaled US$21 billion in 2007 and is expected to grow past US$50 billion in 2011.

IDC says the jump will be fueled by the continued growth of the installed base of Linux server operating systems into enterprise deployments.

"The data is not stunning to me," says Al Gillen, an analyst with IDC who co-authored the white paper. "I have been watching it evolve over the past several years. The biggest story is that the ecosystem is now real."

He says Linux spending surpassing the US$20 billion mark is an important milestone. "But this does not put Microsoft on the ropes from a revenue perspective."

Gillen points out that the Linux business model differs substantially from the one that Microsoft has constructed. "So Linux is unlikely to ever get to the size of total revenue that the Microsoft market enjoys," he says.

Regardless, Linux is enjoying growth.

IDC's forecast for Linux server operating environments calls for 8.2 percent of compound annual growth from 2007 to 2012 for both new paid subscriptions and non-paid deployments.

IDC says the growth will be driven by paid subscriptions of commercial Linux distributions that are deployed on physical servers, virtual servers and other hardware types including redeployed server hardware and PCs and workstations that are used as servers.

But the future is not without potential roadblocks.

The white paper points out that Linux could face challenges from OpenSolaris if that alternative open source operating system begins to find favor on x86 platforms. In addition, the market dominating position of Windows also presents a challenge to long-term Linux success, especially as Microsoft competes to win Unix migrations.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

John Fontana

Network World
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Bang and Olufsen Beosound Stage - Dolby Atmos Soundbar

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

ASUS ROG, ACRONYM partner for Special Edition Zephyrus G14

Learn more >

Nakamichi Delta 100 3-Way Hi Fi Speaker System

Learn more >

Sony WF-1000XM3 Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Family Friendly

Philips Sonicare Diamond Clean 9000 Toothbrush

Learn more >

Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit for Nintendo Switch

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

SunnyBunny Snowflakes 20 LED Solar Powered Fairy String

Learn more >

Teac 7 inch Swivel Screen Portable DVD Player

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Shining a light on creativity

MSI has long pushed the boundaries of invention with its ever-evolving range of laptops but it has now pulled off a world first with the new MSI Creative 17.

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?