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Linux is booming, but unpaid adoption may hurt vendors
Written by Daniel   
Wednesday, 19 August 2009 11:35

Even as the recession continues to cool CIO appetites for software purchases, Linux is bucking the trend, according to a new IDC report.

 August 19, 2009 4:27 AM PDT
by Matt Asay

   IDC is projecting Linux revenue to expand at a compound annual growth rate of 16.9 percent from 2008 to 2013, topping $1.2 billion in 2013.

As IDC notes, this growth will comprise just 4 percent of total software market revenue by 2013, up from 2.2 percent in 2008. However, for the second time, IDC has also examined nonpaid deployments of Linux, revealing some troubling data.
I've always assumed Red Hat's primary Linux competitor is Novell. And based on IDC's numbers, it does appear that Novell is increasingly a real threat to Red Hat.
But it is the nonpaid usage of Red Hat's software that may well pose a bigger risk.

Novell has 27.9 percent market share of paid deployments and 20.1 percent of the total paid and nonpaid market. This doesn't look so great at first glance; after all, more people use Red Hat (including Fedora) for free than pay for Suse Linux Enterprise Server.

However, in growth, Suse stands out. On paid shipments, Red Hat's 2007 to 2008 growth was 1.9 percent, while Novell's Suse was nearly double that at 3.5 percent.

On revenue, Novell comes in at 29.8 percent market share. That represents 50.3 percent growth in market share, versus Red Hat's 14.8 percent growth. Granted, Red Hat has a much larger base of revenue from which it's growing ($319.5 million compared with Novell's $112.6 million in 2007), but Novell's Linux revenue growth has outpaced Red Hat's since 2007.  [C/Net News... ]    [Comments...]

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