Lately there has been a kerfuffle in the blogosphere between partisans and opponents of the view that the Linux server boom is over. Supporters point to ominous IDC and Gartner data showing that growth in Linux server revenue has plummeted from over 50% in 2003 to a little over 10% in Q3 of this year.
While it's true these server market numbers measure factory installed systems only and thus miss the many copies of Linux installed by users themselves, it's still hard to avoid the conclusion that Linux server sales growth is cooling off. But compared to the glory years from 2003 to 2006 when Linux was narrowing the market share gap with Windows Server by leaps and bounds every quarter, the new growth rate could be seen as a disappointment.
But I don't see it that way. Why not? Because I think that Linux vs. Windows Server is an apples-to-oranges comparison that is stacked in Microsoft's favor.
January 4, 2008