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Readers react to IDC’s Linux market share numbers

Oct 22, 20032 mins
Enterprise ApplicationsLinuxMicrosoft

* Linux reuse has a lot to do with Linux vs. Windows shipment stats, readers say

Many readers had some thoughts about last week’s newsletter, “Linux snaps at the heels of Microsoft servers,” which talked about a recent IDC report on the state of the server/client operating systems markets.

IDC’s research showed that Linux trailed Microsoft Windows in server operating system shipments. According to the report, Linux accounted for 22.4% of new server operating system shipments last year, while Microsoft had around 55%. Many readers claimed that this was only a small part of the story.

“I would expect,” wrote one user, “that [Microsoft’s] licensing requires the purchase of at least [one] copy of the [operating system] for each computer on which it will be installed … On the other hand, I can buy [one] copy of Red Hat Linux, and install four (or 40) servers from it. I guess my point is fairly obvious.”

Another reader claims this reusing of Linux software (which is perfectly legal, and a common IT practice) is even more widespread. “I know of [five] colleges [and] universities that use only one distribution of Linux and admittedly downloaded the [distribution] from someone else,” this reader wrote.

“I have personally put into operation over 40 Linux servers over the past [seven] years and [I] have only two Linux distributions.”

But from the “it’s money that matters” side of the argument, another reader had this to say about the headline for last week’s newsletter. 

“Did you think about this?” the reader wrote. “Linux revenue made up less than 1% of the market.”