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IBM Touts Research That Linux Will Slow Windows Server Growth In ERP

IBM is heralding market research claiming that Linux will slow Microsoft's server momentum and grow Linux's share of the enterprise applications market to 15 percent by 2007.

In a conference call Friday, executives from IBM and online research group Peerstone Research said the growth of Microsoft's Windows server operating system will slow as Linux increasingly takes root in the ERP space and, particularly, as commercial Linux distributions incorporating the Linux 2.6 kernel rise in use. Jeff Gould, research director of Peerstone Research, said the survey wasn't paid for or commissioned by IBM.

According to a Peerstone study of 400 installations involving the top three ERP vendors--SAP, PeopleSoft and Oracle--Linux will grow to 15 percent of the ERP installed base by 2007 from 2 percent now.

The integration of the more scalable, multithreaded Linux 2.6 kernel into leading Linux distributions will help drive more enterprise application adoption of the open-source platform, said Adam Jollans, chief Linux technologist at IBM Software Group. Novell released its SUSE Enterprise Linux 9, which incorporates the Linux 2.6 kernel, earlier this year, and Red Hat plans to use Linux 2.6 in its Enterprise Linux 4 product line due next quarter.

"We're seeing a move from simpler uses of Linux to more complex, business-critical uses of Linux," Jollans said. IBM reported that its Linux software revenue quadrupled between 2001 and 2003, with much of its recent growth in the application, integration middleware and data management segements. "We expect that trend to continue with availability of the Linux 2.6 kernel in commercial Linux distributions," Jollans said.

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