IDC: Microsoft tightens vise on OS market

The dominance of Microsoft Corp.'s Windows operating system, the centerpiece of the US Department of Justice's antitrust case against the company, remains undisputed, according to research released by International Data Corp (IDC).

Worldwide shipments of Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows NT Workstation, Windows 2000 Professional and Windows Millennium Edition comprised 92 percent of all client operating systems shipped last year, up from 89 percent the year before, said Al Gillen, research manager for IDC's operating environments program.

Windows 98 shipments were up 36 percent over the prior year, while Windows 95 shipments fell off dramatically, Gillen said. Overall, Microsoft's Windows 9x and Windows Millennium Edition operating system shipments were up by 8 percent.

The IDC figures show Windows NT and all other versions of Windows for the server with a 41 percent share of shipments worldwide. Not only did Microsoft increase its server operating system shipments, it increased them at a rate significantly faster -- 20 percent -- than the overall market, where growth was less than 13 percent.

With 24 percent growth, Linux was the only other category of operating system to increase its shipments.

"Microsoft products and Linux products are continuing to squeeze other operating environments out of the market," Gillen said.

As part of its defense in the antitrust trial, Microsoft has said Linux represents a threat to Windows.

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