IDC announced today that they are expecting the Linux mark to grow to a massive $35.7 billion in the next four years – from a current high of $15 billion.
The numbers are much higher than other estimates, which IDC explains as not just counting Linux deployments onto new hardware, but also redeployments onto existing hardware. In addition, IDC is counting installations where Linux may only be one of several OS´s.
Effectively, the IDC study is the first truly comprehensive view of the market, which is why it is significantly higher than other estimates.
“This is the first authoritative and comprehensive snapshot of how people truly use Linux,” claimed Stuart Cohen, the chief executive officer of the Open Source Development Labs (OSDL), a Beaverton, Ore.-based Linux advocacy
group that funded IDC´s analysis of data the research firm collected earlier. “It´s not surprising to see that the adoption is far ahead of even some of the most optimistic estimates,” Cohen added in a statement.
The OSDL was founded in 2000 by Computer Associates, Hewlett Packard, IBM, Intel, and NEC as a non-profit to push for the adoption of Linux. Linus Torvalds, the creator of the original Linux kernel, is part of the OSDL
Software is by far the largest sector of the market, and will likely maintain their current share of 40-50%, topping out at $14 billion in 2008.
Although Linux will remain a minority on the desktop, IDC is estimating that it will still reside on 17 million desktops by 2008, surpassing Apple´s Mac OS by roughly 7 million installations. Worldwide, IDC estimates the free OS will reside on 43 million machines.
“When all manifestations of Linux operating systems are counted, Linux is clearly a mainstream solution,” said Vernon Turner, a vice president of IDC´s enterprise computing group.