Sales of the open source operating system Linux will reach $35 billion by 2008, according to analysts at IDC, with $10 billion of that accounted for in desktops.
But while Linux has been gaining popularity on servers, to date, it has been little more than a minority player on the desktop, where Microsoft dominates. But, according to IDC, Linux is set to enter the mainstream.
IDC reported that sales of Linux will rise 26% a year until 2008. That amounts to $35 billion worth of shipments.
”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.
The predictions were based on measures of deployment that included ‘non-traditional’ implementations of Linux, such as when it is used as a secondary operating system or is installed on existing hardware.
This inclusion significantly increased IDC’s own previous estimates of the Linux install base, which were based purely on the number of new servers shipped with Linux preinstalled.
The study was commissioned by the Open Source Development Labs (OSDL), which employs Linux creator Linus Torvald.
“This is the first authoritative and comprehensive snapshot of how people truly use Linux and its adoption is far ahead than even some of the most optimistic estimates,” claimed OSDL CEO Stuart Cohen.