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Global server sales are thriving

Worldwide sales of server hardware reached over $11bn in the first three months of 2004, according to market research firm IDC.

The figures - which show a 7.3 per cent growth over the same period last year - mark the fourth consecutive quarter of overall buoyancy in the server market. A clear indication that organisations are beginning to rebuild their computing infrastructure after nearly three years of slowed spending.

In the same period, unit shipments of servers grew 22.4 per cent, reflecting cheaper prices for server hardware.

And as we have seen in the past, sales of servers that run on the freely available Linux operating system rose the most, with Linux server sales climbing 57 per cent to more than $900 million.

Windows-based servers also showed strong growth, with worldwide sales climbing by 16 per cent to $3.8 billion.

Sales of Unix-based servers, however, fell by 3 per cent overall, but showed growth in Japan and the rest of the Asia-Pacific region, where users are building Unix-based computing infrastructure relating to telecommunications, government and business sectors.

In terms of market share, sales of IBM's mainframe server products grew rapidly in the first quarter, which helped IBM hold on to its overall lead in the server market.

Currently, IBM holds a 29.7 per cent share of the worldwide server market, ahead of Hewlett-Packard, which has 26.9 per cent.

Measured by sales, Hewlett-Packard entered at number two, with Dell and Sun Microsystems coming in at three and four.

Sources:, Reuters

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