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IBM Retakes Server Crown

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The endless story of “Who’s the top dog in server-ville?” entered a new chapter this week as new stats from IDC place IBM at the head of the pack. The company is enjoying a 30.4 percent share of the $10.6 billion worldwide server market.

The report issued Friday as part of the Framingham, Mass.-based analyst group’s Worldwide Quarterly Server Tracker focused on Q2 of 2003. The findings? The Armonk, N.Y.-based company supplanted last quarter’s leader — Hewlett-Packard — gaining just over 10 percent in server sales in the last three months to $32 billion.

The latest stats from IDC rank Big Blue as the No.1 overall server vendor worldwide, while HP, Dell and Sun look perplexed.

HP fell to second place with server sales growing 0.4 percent to $2.9 billion. Dell filled in the number 4 spot with an 10 percent increase in sales to $980 million.

Only third-place Sun Microsystems lost revenue in the second quarter by 18.7 percent to $1.4 billion. The sting is especially hard for the Santa Clara, Calif.-based network computer maker as IDC noted IBM grew 20.4 percent year-to-year in the Unix Server market taking 5.2 points away from Sun. One bright spot according to the stats is that Sun still remains the top Unix-based vendor with 33 percent market share in a $4.33 billion market.

The data also points out IBM’s Intel revenue gained 23.3 percent year-to-year with a 1.8 points share gain, while HP and Dell lost share year to year in the Intel breakdown. IBM also said its Linux revenues rose from 51.8 percent for a 1.6 market share gain while Dell and HP both lost customers.

The changing of the guard could not come at a worse time for HP, which posted what is being characterized as “disappointing numbers” for its third quarter 2003 earnings. HP said its Enterprise Systems Group had a rough quarter with $3.71 billion in revenues.

IBM has been capitalizing on HP’s Unix installations including its outsourcing business and corporate customers like LEGO.

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