14 May 2002 Sun Microsystems regained lost ground in the Unix server market in the first quarter, according to the latest figures from analysts at Gartner Dataquest. The gain was largely made at the expense of systems giant IBM.
Sun increased its share of the US Unix server market to 54%, compared to 50.7% achieved in the same period a year earlier. At the same time, IBM declined to 17.2% from 21.3%. As a result, Hewlett-Packard was able to leap-frog IBM into second place with a 19.8% share.
However, HP’s similarly strong performance may be mitigated in coming quarters by its recent acquisition of rival Compaq, which has never been particularly strong in Unix and which saw its market share slide to 2.9% from 4.7% previously.
The figures will come as a particular relief to Sun, which has seen its market share erode since the end of the dot-com boom, which it had exploited more successfully than rivals. Sun once proudly claimed to be the “dot in dot-com”.
For its part, IBM will be disappointed that its push into the Unix market would appear to have ground to a halt after some six successive quarters of gains. This had been fuelled by the release of more powerful Unix systems from IBM that were the equal of Sun’s for raw power, after some time of being considered technically inferior.
However, IBM can take comfort from its robust performance in the Intel and Linux server segments of the market.
The Unix server market represented 40% of overall server sales of $4.3 billion (€4.76bn) in the US in the first quarter of 2002, according to Gartner.