Sun, Windows Make Server Share Gains

Sun continued to show a resurgence in the worldwide server market in the second quarter of 2006, as the industry overall showed positive revenue growth for the first time in three quarters, research firm IDC said Wednesday. All of the growth could be attributed to the volume server market, as both the mid- and high-range enterprise server market continued to contract.

Overall, revenue grew .6 percent to $12.3 billion in the second quarter, the first time since the third quarter of 2005, with demand in the US and the Asia-Pacific regions excluding Japan contributing to this growth. Volume server revenue grew 6.2 percent year over year, while the mid-and high-range enterprise server market shrank 3.5 and 6.9 percent, respectively.

In terms of individual companies, IBM maintained its lead among competitors while seeing a 2.2 percent decline in revenue and a 31.9 percent market share. Revenue for HP also declined 1.7 percent, as the company stayed in second place with a 28.5 percent share.

The big winner this quarter was Sun, whose revenue increased some 15.5 percent year over year. Additionally, its market share grew from 11.2 percent in the second quarter of last year to 12.9 percent this year, regaining the number three position in server market share rankings over Dell.

IDC credited Sun's resurgence to a number of factors. "The clear majority of Sun's server revenue is generated from UltraSPARC-based systems, but the growth in the company's Opteron-based products are having a positive impact," IDC enterprise server research director Steve Josselyn said.

Sun executives lauded the news. "We have our foot firmly on the accelerator and are leaving our competitors in the dust," Sun Systems group executive vice president Steve Fowler said. "Our investment in innovation is really paying off as we now have the best product line-up in the company's history."

The top five were rounded out by Dell, who saw a 1.3 percent decline in revenue and a 10.3 percent market share, and Fujitsu, whose revenue increased by .5 percent on a 4.5 percent market share.

Windows servers also continued to show strength, with 3.1 percent growth in revenues, and 11 percent growth in shipments year over year. Servers based on the operating system made up 34.2 percent of quarterly revenue, as opposed to Unix's 35 percent share, a 1.6 percent decline in revenues and 1.8 percent drop in unit shipments.

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