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Linux market to top $35B by ’08, says IDC

Dec 15, 2004 — by Henry Kingman — from the LinuxDevices Archive — views

The Open Source Development Labs (OSDL) unveiled key findings from a newly completed IDC market study today, projecting that the overall revenue for desktops, servers, and packaged software running on Linux will exceed $35 billion by 2008. A summary of the study is available as a free download.

“This is the first authoritative and comprehensive snapshot of how people truly use Linux, and it's not surprising for us to see that the adoption is far ahead of even some of the most optimistic estimates,” said OSDL CEO Stuart Cohen, in a statement issued today.

Linux revenues will grow 26 percent annually, to $35.7B in 2008
(Image courtesy of OSDL)

The new study attempts to quantify both the shipments and installed base of servers and PCs running Linux. It includes Linux shipped with new hardware deliveries, Linux running aboard redeployed systems, and instances where Linux is used as a guest operating system. “When this expanded view of the marketplace is considered, the resulting server market for shipments and redeployments with Linux is increased by 36 percent over net new shipments in 2004,” the OSDL statement said.

Linux server shipments will grow 24 percent annually, with 18 percent growth in shipments and 26 percent growth in redeployments.
(Image courtesy of OSDL)

Additionally, the study forecasts that revenues from packaged applications and infrastructure software running on Linux will exceed $14 billion in the next four years, growing at a compound annual rate greater than 44 percent.

Packaged software is the fastest-growing Linux market segment
(Image courtesy of the OSDL)

Other key findings of the IDC report are said to include:

  • The combined worldwide market for desktops, servers, and packaged software running on Linux is forecast to grow at a 2003-2008 compound annual growth rate of 25.9 percent worldwide, reaching $35.7 billion by 2008.

  • The worldwide market for software on Linux is forecast to exceed $14 billion by 2008, with a 2003-2008 compound annual growth rate of 44.3 percent.

  • New and redeployed PCs running Linux is a market forecast to grow to $10 billion and 17 million units by 2008, with an installed base of over 42.6 million units.

  • Servers running Linux as either a primary or secondary operating system is a market forecast to exceed $11 billion and 3.3 million units by 2008, with an installed base of more than 9.7 million units and a compound annual growth rate of 24.5 percent worldwide.

  • The installed base of servers running Linux is 37 percent larger than the installed base for net new systems shipped with Linux as a primary operating system alone in 2004. This expanded view of the Linux market takes into account segments not previously measured, including those that are reconfigured in the field, with Linux as a secondary operating system, or as a replacement of the original operating system.

According to OSDL, the study was based on the combined results of existing IDC research on server hardware, PC hardware and software, other ongoing research programs, and new primary research. It includes a demand-side analysis, covering ten countries around the world, that looks at customer adoption, plans, and perceptions relating to Linux. Additionally, some data inputs used in conjunction with IDC's syndicated research came from a study funded by OSDL, the OSDL said.

“When all manifestations of Linux operating systems are counted, Linux is clearly a mainstream solution,” said Vernon Turner, group vice president and general manager of Enterprise Computing research at IDC. “Today, IDC sees a shift where Linux server operating environment deployments are moving to favor the use of enterprise server hardware. This transition is being driven by the increasing robustness of Linux, and the increasingly critical nature of the applications deployed on Linux.”

“Linux is forecast to be the fasted growing server operating system environment, and the overall Linux solution stack is growing at a commensurate rate,” said Cohen. “What this research shows is the significant and increasing influence of Linux on the enterprise IT marketplace.”

A summary of the IDC report is available for free download from OSDL's website, here (PDF file). The full report, titled “Worldwide Linux 2004-2008 Forecast: Moving from Niche to Mainstream,” is available for purchase from IDC.

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