IBM and MS advance on Oracle in database market

IT buyers once again spent more on Oracle relational and object-relational databases than on similar software from other vendors in 2002, according to preliminary figures market researcher IDC released Monday. But contenders IBM and Microsoft gained ground on Larry Ellison's company.

IDC estimates that IT buyers worldwide spent US$12.9 billion on relational and object-relational databases in 2002, essentially flat from 2001.

Oracle nabbed 39.4 percent of that revenue, or $5.1 billion, a five percent revenue decrease from 2001, its second year-on-year revenue drop in a row. IBM came in second with 33.6 percent, or $4.3 billion, a nine percent hike, while Microsoft grabbed 11.1 percent of the market's revenue, or $1.4 billion, a 15 percent increase. Sybase Inc. came in fourth, followed by NCR Corp. These five vendors collectively generate about 90 percent of the market's revenue.

Oracle was hurt by postponements in spending by large clients on large database installations, while IBM benefitted in part from sales to departments within companies, according to IDC. Meanwhile, Microsoft, with its relatively lower-cost and easier-to-use databases, dominated the segment of small and medium-size businesses, according to IDC.

IDC is a division of International Data Group Inc. (IDG), the parent company of the IDG News Service.

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