Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Overpricing Does that to You

Via Slashdot comes some interesting news:

"In their 10-K filing, Microsoft says that Linux server units rose slightly faster on an absolute basis than Windows server units in fiscal 2004. To project the trends it is helpful to look at the percentages. Some Gartner Inc. statistics report Linux server unit shipments are up 61% giving it 9.5% of the overall market share. Windows has a much larger base, so it can get the same absolute unit growth with a much lower percentage. Gartner expects Linux to continue growing faster and have more than 1/2 of the new server shipment market by the end of 2008."
If anything, I'd say that this is an underestimate of the momentum behind Linux, as it doesn't account for PC shipments for which a downloaded copy of Linux is used to transform some spare machine into a server. From a market share perspective, Microsoft would have been better off in the long run either pricing Windows Server 2003 a lot more affordably, or turning a blind eye to piracy by leaving it free of product activation: the product just isn't compelling enough to warrant paying such a premium for, and yes, price does matter, as I can well attest having slapped Linux and Apache on more than my fair share of aging PCs in my day.


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