IDC: Memory Shortages Cause Workstation Drop-off

SAN FRANCISCO (08/17/2000) - The worldwide branded Windows NT workstation market declined 7 percent in the second quarter of 2000, according to a recent study by market research company International Data Corp.(IDC). In contrast, the Unix workstation market rose nearly 3 percent in the same time period, according to IDC data.

Overall branded workstation shipments fell 4 percent from the previous quarter with 409,123 units moved during the period.

With significant order backlogs currently existing for NT-based workstations, the second half of the year should show renewed shipment growth, IDC said. The research company added, however, that large memory shortages may slow vendors from getting the workstations out in the market on time.

"The second quarter was difficult for most personal workstation vendors who struggled with RDRAM (Rambus dynamic random access memory) shortages while trying to meet customer demand," said Kara Yokley, an IDC analyst in a company statement.

IDC noted that such component shortages will likely continue throughout the year.

While Dell Computer Corp. used an RDRAM-only strategy throughout the quarter, IDC said, the company managed to capture the number-one spot in worldwide shipments of branded Windows NT workstations. The Austin, Texas-based vendor held a 34 percent market share globally and moved 93,000 units -- an 8 percent rise over the previous quarter. Dell was the only vendor to post positive shipment growth in the NT workstation market. The company also dominated the U.S. market with a 43 percent share.

Hewlett-Packard Co. performed poorly in the quarter as the company's Kayak line suffered from Intel Corp.'s recall of the 820 SDRAM (synchronous DRAM) chipset, the IDC study said. [See "Intel to Replace Defective 820 Motherboards," May 10.]HP did enjoy growth in its NT Visualize workstations, helping the vendor grab 17 percent of worldwide share in the market. These figures fell just below Houston, Texas-based Compaq Computer Corp. which captured a 20 percent market share globally.

Turning to the worldwide Unix workstation market, the combined totals of Sun Microsystems Inc., IBM Corp. and HP accounted for 88 percent of total shipments during the quarter. Sun sold 84,000 systems, holding on to the number-one position and snagging 60 percent of the Unix-based market.

HP and Silicon Graphics Inc. (SGI) both found challenges in the Unix workstation market, seeing shipments decline 5 percent and 15 percent respectively during the quarter.

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

IDC, in Framingham, Massachusetts, can be reached at +1-508-872-8200 or at

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