Figures released in reports from IDC and Gartner indicate that for the server market, revenues have declined in the fourth quarter. Shipments have begun to slow, and IDC believes that the server market cooled in the fourth quarter of 2005, declining 0.2 percent to $14.5 billion.

"The volume server market continues to evolve as richer server configurations driven by both scale-out cluster implementations and scale-up server virtualization initiatives continue to drive increased customer spending," said Eastwood in a statement accompanying the IDC report. "However, even in the volume segment, the quarterly unit shipment growth of 11.5 percent was two-thirds the year-over-year unit growth rate observed in Q4 2004, illustrating a transition towards more richly configured systems in the market. This evolution is driven by IT managers increased desire to consolidate and virtualize their server infrastructures as they seek to maintain balanced and manageable IT growth in the future."