According to the latest IDC Quarterly Server Tracker report the growth of Linux as far as the US x86 server market is concerned has started to slow. In fact, it is has done more than just slow, when compared to Windows-based server growth it has slipped backwards. In 2005 Windows Server growth was sitting comfortably around 25 percent and Linux was right up there at 53 percent. Fast forward to now and that IDC report suggests that as far as figures for 2006 are concerned Linux has dropped to an astonishing -4 percent growth rate. Unfortunately for Linux, the growth of Windows-based servers has stayed positive racking up figures of 4 percent during the same period.

It has been suggested that Linux adoption has fallen off the pace because it is mirroring the rate of migration from Unix to Linux which has also slowed right down. It has also been suggested that Linux is losing market share to Windows, based upon these latest figures. Interestingly, when you talk to industry analysts about Linux-based enterprise applications they paint a different picture, one of increasing and continued growth in an area of the market where Microsoft has historically had the major presence. So it's all a matter of swings and roundabouts rather than massive cause for concern in both camps methinks.

Observers should also bear in mind that trying to double-guess OS trends based upon numbers of servers being shipped is notoriously dangerous territory. More so when we are talking Linux servers because of the number of recycled server deployments that exist in the enterprise space. All we can say for sure is that, in the US at least, Windows Server shipments exceeded the number of X86 server shipments during 2006. Draw whatever conclusions you will from that…

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As Editorial Director and Managing Analyst with IT Security Thing I am putting more than two decades of consulting experience into providing opinionated insight regarding the security threat landscape for IT security professionals. As an Editorial Fellow with Dennis Publishing, I bring more than two decades of writing experience across the technology industry into publications such as Alphr, IT Pro and (in good old fashioned print) PC Pro. I also write for SC Magazine UK and Infosecurity, as well as The Times and Sunday Times newspapers. Along the way I have been honoured with a Technology Journalist of the Year award, and three Information Security Journalist of the Year awards. Most humbling, though, was the Enigma Award for 'lifetime contribution to IT security journalism' bestowed on me in 2011.

Linux is loosing marketshare because Windows (and true Unix) servers are outselling Linux servers, not because people are switching their existing servers away from Linux.

This is clearly shown in the company I work for. We used to buy about 50/50 Linux and Solaris servers (with the occasional Windows machine for special purposes) but over the last 6 months (and expected to continue) it's been almost exclusively Solaris.

We're having excellent experience with it, low downtime, good support, etc. etc.. Overall better value for money (for a high availabillity environment) than the Linux machines we used to buy (which have more downtime, which means we require more redundancy using them, which increases purchase cost as well as hosting cost (rackspace) and support/maintenance cost).