About Those Servers, IDC

IDC reports on sales of servers with various operating systems.

  • Linux server demand was positively impacted by high performance computing (HPC) and cloud infrastructure deployments, as hardware revenue improved 12.7% year over year in 4Q12 to $3.0 billion. Linux servers now represent 20.4% of all server revenue, up 1.7 points when compared with the fourth quarter of 2011.
  • Microsoft Windows server demand continued to increase in 4Q12 as hardware revenue increased 3.2% year over year. Quarterly revenue of $6.7 billion for Windows servers represented 45.8% of overall quarterly factory revenue, the same share as in the prior year’s quarter.


see Worldwide Server Market Rebounds Sharply in Fourth Quarter as Demand for x86 Servers and High-end Systems Leads the Way, According to IDC.

Sounds good for old M$, eh? Not so fast. Look at the prices…
Price_of_That_Other_OS_On_Servers

On a base of $869 that other OS adds $1K to $4K to the price. Even assuming the base model is pumped up a little, it’s easy to see a typical server for schools or small businesses to cost twice as much with that other OS as compared to GNU/Linux. That suggests server unit shipments with GNU/Linux could be close to unit shipments with M$’s OS. I like that and GNU/Linux’ share is growing much faster than M$’s. Then there are the damned CALs…

Further, IDC states $51billion in servers amounted to 8million units, about $6K per server on average, so the average server hardware cost $6K with no GNU/Linux OS or $2K to $5K with no OS from M$. The GNU/Linux user gets a lot more hardware for the money, 200% to 20% more. That’s a lot.

Come on, IDC. You know the units shipped. How many units shipped with GNU/Linux and how many shipped with that other OS?

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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21 Responses to About Those Servers, IDC

  1. oiaohm says:

    bw does not know how to do price compare.
    http://mrpogson.com/2013/03/05/2021/#comment-110807
    This comment of my explains all his nice big errors trying to compare Microsoft to Redhat. He compares non supported Microsoft Windows to Support Redhat. So of course Microsoft appeared cheaper.

  2. oiaohm says:

    Dr Loser your own link.
    http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/news/inside_ms.aspx#RevenueHeadcount
    Compare with
    http://techrights.org/wiki/index.php/Microsoft_-_Dead_Divisions_or_Products

    Notice alignment. 2008 and 2009 even 2010 are abnormally high shut-downs of product lines in Dr Schestowitz reporting. Including the disposal of staff.

    I am expecting another 2008 2009 after Windows 8 due to its sales figures.

    So what is Microsoft going to cut this time.

    2011 and 2012 is what I call returning to what you expect to see from a large company normally. Problem is I don’t see that lasting. 2010 is when Windows 7 money starts coming into the system.

  3. ram says:

    I suspect more than a few larger organisations are buying a RedHat licence and support for a few of their machines and then using CentOS on the rest in less critical applications.

  4. DrLoser says:

    From the outside its a bit hard when you have Microsoft documentation listing divisions that only exist on paper no where else.

    And once again, nobody but you cares. All large companies go through reorganisations all the time. Individual products, product lines, service sectors, all of them get switched around from department to department, sometimes with a department shrinking or vanishing.

    But on the outside nobody cares.

    However, on the off-chance that somebody does care, they’ve come to the right place, namely the All-Seeing Hamster. These divisions that exist only on paper?

    Name one.

    Prove to me that Schestowitz is not just a paranoid loony making things up on the spot.

    Otherwise I shall assume that you are lying, oiaohm, as usual.

    For a person inside Microsoft they would be able to go down the list and say that one is only on paper and that one had something real to it.

    I’m “on the inside.” Microsoft has, at this point, precisely no divisions that exist “only on paper.”

    What are you trying to insinuate here, Hamster?

    So you cannot blame Schestowitz fully for that one.

    Faulty premise, faulty conclusion. Schestowitz is a paranoid bigoted liar with a messiah complex. I can most certainly blame him for spreading FUD like this. It is what he does.

    Its a case that the information out of Microsoft is not clean we know this.

    To know, yet not to be able to demonstrate …

    … You have something of a Cassandra complex going on there, don’t you, Hamster?

    Watch out for vengeful scorned women called Clytemnestra!

  5. DrLoser says:

    True they do. But most don’t speed up or slow down that process based in if this years profit is going to look good or bad.

    And that would apply to Microsoft in 2010, 2011, 2012, how?

    Do you have a specific number for Microsoft’s profits which caused this mythical shutdown of a yet-unspecified division? (And, no, I’m afraid that Dr Schestowitz’ paranoid ramblings don’t count.)

    You’d kinda hafta need that link before you start babbling about “most don’t speed up or slow down …”

    Basically, Hamster, you are full to the brim of utter crap.

    As usual.

  6. bw says:

    “Look at the prices…”

    I did do that, assuming that what you posted was relevant to the competition. It would, indeed, look like Microsoft had to sell harder to overcome the $969 or even higher, depending on selection, bump in price. But when you try to move away from the OS selection, leaving the $0 Red Hat box checked, you get an error message:

    “Red Hat Enterprise Linux NFI or FI options selected from Operating System require Red Hat Enterprise Linux Licensing and Red Hat Enterprise Linux Media and/or Licenses selections”

    When you click on the link to fix this problem, you find that the cheapest Red Hat subscription is $1,260 for just one year and multi-year deals are a lot higher than Microsoft prices. You can’t buy one of these suckers on the cheap like that. Also, if you read the Red Hat licenses stuff, it is pretty confusing, but it seems to boil down to that you are not allowed to use their stuff without a subscription.

    If you pay the subscription fee each year, you will pay a lot more for Red Hat than for Windows Server. Maybe that’s why they are selling so many Windows in spite of Linux being free. You can buy a computer and put Ubuntu or some other version on it for free, if you do the work yourself, and you can even call it a server. For most people, that is a lot of work, though, and you have to figure in the cost of the person you hire to do all that. Unless you have a heck of a lot of servers and the tech can do them all, it is a lot cheaper to pay the subscription fee for Linux or the license fee for Windows.

  7. bw says:

    “That suggests server unit shipments with GNU/Linux could be close to unit shipments with M$’s OS. I like that and GNU/Linux’ share is growing much faster than M$’s.”

    So what is the impact of any of that? Microsoft sells their OS software in a manner similar to Red Hat and SUSE. Whether you say the license is free and the money is for support or if the support comes with the license for free or whatever, it is just money coming into the bank for Microsoft and the others. Microsoft has a lot more coming into the bank.

    Who might win a popularity contest in the future or who is winning now and by what margin is rather moot. “Take the money and run!” is the more effective advice.

  8. ram says:

    I don’t know anyone who buys a server with an operating system preinstalled. Most companies already have a chosen version (overwhelmingly some flavor of Linux) with a set of packages (which often includes some of their own) and that is duplicated onto any new servers they buy.

  9. oiaohm says:

    Dr Loser subsumed is a fancy way of hiding that you have just Abolished a department. After the subsumed there is normally a reduction in staff that results in about the same ammount of staff going by by by as if you Abolished the Department.

    Subsumed does not hide the fact in the years of high product reduction there is increased firing at Microsoft without replacement staff being deployed.

    Yes the way to clearly detect Abolishing of Departments is what is happening to the staff numbers Dr Loser.

    Note I said killing departments not Abolished departments. Killing departments can be done by either Abolish or Subsumed. If the staff are no longer there the department is no longer there in my eyes. Even if the name remains. Microsoft does a lot making a department cease and still exist as some phantom of another department.

    You just want to split hairs where they should not be split Dr Loser. A department with no staff is not a department right.

    Renamed is also sus. Particularly the cases when you find its 4 departments renamed into 1. This is a merge not a rename and is also normally a reduction in staff.

    –Schestowitz it seems to include “divisions” that never existed in the first place.–
    Dr Loser I sorry to point this out I have suspected that too. I have a very good idea why. In Microsoft documentation around products you see report bug to X division. Thing is X division never came into full existence.

    Dr Loser it seams that Microsoft plans to create a lot of divisions then never gets around todo it or they create them on paper so if a product takes off and they have to create a department they don’t have to reprint the documentation to update that fact. I really do think a lot get created on paper just so if a department has to be made documentation does not have to be reprinted.

    From the outside its a bit hard when you have Microsoft documentation listing divisions that only exist on paper no where else. For a person inside Microsoft they would be able to go down the list and say that one is only on paper and that one had something real to it.

    So you cannot blame Schestowitz fully for that one. Its a case that the information out of Microsoft is not clean we know this.

  10. Dr Loser says:

    Quoting TechRights?

    Really, Hamster, I would have thought that mindless bigoted hate-filled drivel was beneath your awesome powers of the Googles.

    That was “products and divisions,” btw, and for some reason known only to Schestowitz it seems to include “divisions” that never existed in the first place.

    Once again, I will repeat, because you are being unusually dense today, that the labeling doesn’t really matter. But let’s assume for the fun of it that it does.

    One single MS division that was abolished, please. Abolished, not renamed and not subsumed. Abolished because it was (according to the received wisdom on this blog) the Harbinger of Doom.

    Just one, Hamster. Just one.

    Try harder this time.

    I mean, even I gave you Xenix (the product, not a division). Microsoft may not always make the best technical decisions, but even they recognized, remarkably early on, that no sane person would want to use a *nix derivative on the desktop.

  11. oiaohm says:

    http://techrights.org/wiki/index.php/Microsoft_-_Dead_Divisions_or_Products
    Dr Loser 2012 was quite low in killed departments at Microsoft.

    But you do see times when MS goes on chopping block runs. Normally times when income is not going to look too good.

    –Large corporations go through reorganisations all the time. Shuffling products, whether successful or failing, between departments is nothing specific to Microsoft or, indeed, to the IT world.–

    True they do. But most don’t speed up or slow down that process based in if this years profit is going to look good or bad.

    That is only back to 2008. There is a longer list and you can map the number a year to how profitable MS balance sheet was expected to look. Yes worse more departments killed.

    Dr Loser really have you never looked at balance sheet compared job security with Microsoft.

  12. Dr Loser says:

    I’m working in what used to be MSN and is now “Online Services,” Robert. Believe me, they haven’t disposed of it.

    Everything you said after that point, I have already countered with this simple observation:

    Who cares?

    They didn’t dispose of the department, they renamed it. This is like saying that Debian disposed of their “Lenny” OS when they renamed it “squeeze.” I’m not stupid enough to make that claim, and I’m sure you wouldn’t make an equivalent claim over Online Services.

    I am therefore still calling the Hamster out on his wild comment.

    And you might be right. Microsoft might well give up the desktop OS in five years, what with it being an unfortunate business where you have to spend $billions to make $billions.

    Spending $0 to make $0 is probably the way to go.

  13. AdmFubar wrote, “one could check out the price of say red hat stock and m$ stock”

    To be fair, M$ does give a few % of dividend… but RHT is still a much better investment.

  14. Dr Loser wrote, “which department MS has disposed of previously?”

    I seem to remember something called MSN… Oh, they keep renaming it but it doesn’t make money all these years later. Now it’s “Online Services”: revenue $893, loss $283. ” (“OSD”) develops and markets information and content designed to help people simplify tasks and make more informed decisions online, and to help advertisers connect with audiences. OSD offerings include Bing, Bing Ads, MSN, and advertiser tools. Bing and MSN generate revenue through the sale of search and display advertising, accounting for nearly all of OSD’s annual revenue.”
    It looks as if that loser might actually begin to make money in a year or two if they can just spread enough FUD. It’s one of the things that might actually survive the desktop monopoly but it will be a great loss of stature for M$ because they will actually have to work to make money there.

    I can see the desktop OS eventually being a dead weight for M$ when they become a normal business competing on price/performance against other businesses using FLOSS. It’s entirely possible they could dump that other OS within five years. Why spend $billions to make $billions when they could just slap a skin on GNU/Linux and draw up a cute campaign slogan?

  15. AdmFubar says:

    Or one could check out the price of say red hat stock and m$ stock…i wonder what company is doing better… 😛

  16. Der Balrog wrote, “Microsoft will still make good money with servers”.

    There’s nothing wrong with M$ making good money with servers. It’s an honest job when they don’t have a monopoly on the desktop client. It’s a crime when they do. That’s why M$ bothered to enforce monopoly decades ago. Ford said he would give the cars away for $0 if he could charge what he wanted for the parts. M$ has been able to charge what it wanted for a long time. That’s ending. M$’s revenues on servers are only propped up because they have raised the prices while the volume of units has fallen. See that “Standard Edition” item? That’s $969 about the same as long ago but all the others are much higher than before. What can you do with SE? Serve your LAN. M$ lately charges more for different versions depending on number of users and/or virtual machines “allowed”. So, anyone with a mess of virtual machines or users is paying a lot more than the standard licensing fee.

    I cheat a bit because many businesses will take a RedHat subscription which is also onerous but businesses do have the choice of no OS and installing GNU/Linux as they wish. That’s a real choice and obviously many are taking it. I know schools that could use more than two virtual machines. That means they would be pressured to take the “Enterprise Edition”… + CALs, many times the price of GNU/Linux. Charging a user for the service for which they have already paid by buying the hardware should be a crime. Why isn’t it? Wait. It is, fraud.

    Wikipedia: “The Canadian courts have held that the offence consists of two distinct elements:

    A prohibited act of deceit, falsehood or other fraudulent means. In the absence of deceit or falsehood, the courts will look objectively for a “dishonest act”; and
    The deprivation must be caused by the prohibited act, and deprivation must relate to property, money, valuable security, or any service.[5]”

    Deceit: Telling businesses M$’s OS costs less, is necessary to run a business, and works better.

    Obviously M$ is depriving businesses of a huge sum of money compared to what businesses could do with the hardware they own for ~$0 with GNU/Linux. Assuming businesses get “support” for the money they pay is illusory. A server should just work. No support should be needed. A GNU/Linux server is like a telephone. You plug it in and it just works. Businesses should only have to work to produce content. In M$’s fold they have also to support M$’s extravagant life-style just like the protection rackets.

  17. Dr Loser says:

    Perhaps you could start by enlightening us as to which department MS has disposed of previously?

    I remember them ditching Xenix, because it turned out that nobody wanted to buy *nix on the desktop, but as for departments? Don’t remember one of those, guv.

    And once you’ve tackled that little task, you might care to ask yourself the following question:

    Who cares? Large corporations go through reorganisations all the time. Shuffling products, whether successful or failing, between departments is nothing specific to Microsoft or, indeed, to the IT world.

    The day will almost certainly come when Microsoft disappears; from memory, I believe only 2 of the top 500 US corporations in 1900 still exist. It’s basically a slam-dunk.

    But it didin’t happen last year (despite predictions). It isn’t happening this year (despite predictions). It won’t happen next year (despite predictions).

    In fact, Hamster, it probably won’t happen in your lifetime (and, Mazel Tov! I wish you a long life!).

    Which was der Balrog’s point, had you bothered to read what he said.

  18. oiaohm says:

    Der Balrog most of us are not expecting Microsoft to die quickly.

    –It must suck when Microsoft persists in defying your efforts to provide an amusing death to them.–

    Really please be careful the day may come that Microsoft disappears.

    Microsoft growth has slowed a lot. There will come the point where it will drop.

    The desktop sales have dropped. The server market has not increased. This is not healthy for MS long term balance sheet.

    I really wonder what department will MS dispose of next.

  19. Der Balrog says:

    Der Balrog lets do some maths I know this is not your strong point.

    No, it’s just that numbers have nothing to do with my comment.

    It must suck when Microsoft persists in defying your efforts to provide an amusing death to them.

    Have Pogson call me when Microsoft has disappeared. But I guess that won’t happen before his time’s up.

  20. oiaohm says:

    Der Balrog lets do some maths I know this is not your strong point.

    20.4%+ 45.8% + 17.6% + 12.3%=%96.1 current. Anything particularly sus about that number.

    I will point you to 2 sus facts. Number one IBM Dell and HP all sell OS free machines in server. So 3.9 percent acquired without OS is a little low.

    Next z/OS one of it selling points is the means to run Linux workloads contained.

    So 20.4+12.3. Is the aprox Linux number 32.7 If Linux and z/OS grow at current rates and MS keeps on dropping at current rates we are look at a possible overtake sometime in 2014.

    Der Balrog Linux is still growing money each year.

  21. Der Balrog says:

    I get it. Microsoft is making good money with servers. You’re very, very unhappy about that. So you’re trying to bullshit your way out of it by employing the usual excuses — oh, the Microsoft OS is so expensive! oh, you get so much more hardware with GTFO/Linux! oh, IDC is lying to us!

    Save this post for next year. Then you can recycle it because Microsoft will still make good money with servers. And you will continue wailing.

    I like it.

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