Microsoft dominated in OS revenue last year

By on May 2, 2011, 7:21 PM

We know that operating systems bring in quite a bit of money, and that Windows is a cash cow for Microsoft, but what are the numbers anyway? Well, it turns out that worldwide operating system revenue totaled $30.4 billion in 2010, a 7.8 percent increase from 2009, according to Gartner.

Linux server and Mac OS were the fastest-growing segments in the server and client categories, respectively, while Microsoft maintained its leading position in the overall OS pie, with 78.6 percent market share in terms of revenue. IBM took second place with 7.5 percent revenue share and HP took third with 3.7 percent revenue share. Oracle was fourth (2.6 percent), Red Hat was fifth (2.0 percent), and Apple was sixth (1.7 percent).



Oracle entered the market by acquiring Sun Microsystems (and its Solaris business) for $7.4 billion in April 2009. Disregarding Oracle, which Gartner awarded 0.00 percent of the market in 2009, Microsoft gained the most from 2009 to 2010, moving up an additional 0.7 percentage points. Everyone else increased or decreased by either 0.1 percentage points or 0.2 percentage points.

Microsoft's Windows client business had higher growth at 9.2 percent, compared with its Windows server business at 7.5 percent growth. A new wave of PC refreshment after the economic recession was the major reason for the better-performing Windows client business (if you haven't yet heard, Windows 7 is on a roll). The software giant is going to try to pull the same thing off with Windows 8, but something tells us it won't be so easy.

"Generally, client OSs outperformed server OSs and grew 9.3 percent in 2010, while the server OS segment grew 5.7 percent," Matthew Cheung, principal research analyst at Gartner, said in a statement. "The long-pending demand for PC refreshment was unleashed as the economy stepped out from the economic turndown, which drove growth of client OSs."

User Comments: 5

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9Nails, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I would like to see Windows 8 giving us something more that we cannot get from Windows 7. A new set of features, new application, or something more than a few additional drivers and cosmetic reshuffling of the menu's. I was one of the few who were pretty happy with Windows Vista, but Windows 7 made some nice efforts to clean away some of the glitches that were there. There isn't a whole lot to complain about in Windows 7, so their job will be a tough on in convincing consumers to plunk down another $120 - $200 for an upgrade again.

I'm not surprised that Apple was dead last in this group. They're primarily a hardware manufacturer, and the OS just sort of comes along with a nice product. But they also charge a very fair and modest price for their OS upgrades next to these other guys, so the number of people upgrading might not be as one-sided as they appear.

MilwaukeeMike said:

Yes windows 8 will not be anywhere near win 7. Win 7 was a 'correction' to Vista and many people were interested in that.

A good portion of OS sales come from new PC sales, so Win 8 will have that to it?s advantage. However, large corporate clients (who can buy thousands of licenses each) will probably not upgrade to Win8. Many are still on XP, will upgrade (or have already) to Win7 and won?t do it again so soon. The cost of upgrading is too high and the benefits too low to do it more than once every few years.

Win8 will be a victim of Win7?s success. Win7 is great, why change?

Guest said:

This is not surprising considering the market-share and the ridiculous price enough people seemed willing to pay to put the Vista curse behind them. However I'm not sure it will be as easy to fool their customers into forking over silly $ for the next round with so many equal or better options available. Especially when we add the importance of the iPhone\iPad\iOS\Android to the ecosystem - a real sore spot for Microsoft.

Guest said:

Yeah, I too am not surprised their criminal monopoly still has companies on the perpetual treadmill.

Microsoft will just release another shoddy product and businesses will install it, only to find out that they have to upgrade to Windows 9 to get back to what they had in Windows 7.

And you know what. The businesses are stupid enough to do it, because the person writing the check to Microsoft gets a steak dinner out of it? Who doesn't want a free steak dinner, that only cost their company several millions of dollars.

Guest said:

Personally, if the next improvement in windows os has something revolutionary like embedded support of the KINECT then I will pay the money and buy it even in form of windows 8 or in form of windows 7 sp2.

Imagine a world in which the computers (and their applications) can see. Isn't that revolutionary enough? :)

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