Gartner reports that, globally, server units shipped increased 7% in Q3 2011 compared to 2010 but eastern Europe and Asia had growth of 20%+. This looks like the usual server replacement with consolidation/virtualization continuing. Client shipments are almost flat so this could also indicate clients are being converted/replaced by thin clients. If so, combined with the hard drive shortage, M$’s next few quarters could be grim for the client division.
Another observation is that the top five OEMs for servers grew little but “others” had 23% unit shipment growth. That corresponds to the eastern Europeans and Asians having their own server development. I expect a lot of those smaller operators will ship GNU/Linux as it gives them higher margins.