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As server sales tank, IBM still leads pack

Worldwide server revenue falls 14 percent year over year in the fourth quarter, IDC says, while full-year revenue for 2008 dips 3.3 percent.

This was originally posted at ZDNet's Between the Lines.

Server revenue worldwide fell 14 percent year over year to $13.5 billion in the fourth quarter, market researcher IDC said Wednesday.

IBM held onto the top share position with 36.3 percent of the market.

According to IDC's tally, worldwide server unit shipments in the quarter fell 12 percent from a year ago. The fourth quarter also represented the second consecutive quarterly decline.

For full-year 2008, global server revenue fell 3.3 percent to $53.3 billion, even as units grew 2 percent to 8.1 million. IDC said it's the first time the server market has topped 8 million units in one year. The rub: average selling prices were under pressure so revenue fell.

Here is the fourth quarter, by the numbers:

• Volume systems revenue fell 16.8 percent compared with a year ago.

• Midrange enterprise server demand fell 14.5 percent year over year, with high-end enterprise server sales falling 7.5 percent.

• Unix server revenue fell 6.2 percent from a year ago to $4.9 billion. That accounts for 36.2 percent of market spending.

• Windows server revenue fell 17.8 percent to $4.8 billion. Windows server revenue was 35.3 percent of the market.

• Linux server revenue fell 7 percent to $1.8 billion. Linux server revenue was 13.6 percent of the market.

• Blade servers represent the only category that had positive growth with gains of 16.1 percent to $1.4 billion.