IDC Reseacrh. Linux Adoption in a Global Recession
March 2009. Brett Waldman.
Economic downturns have a tendency to accelerate emerging technologies, boost the adoption of effective solutions, and punish solutions that are not cost competitive or that are out of synch with industry trends. IDC research finds that Linux users are clearly satisfied about their choice to deploy Linux, and during trying economic times, the potential for those same customers to ramp up their deployment of Linux is strong. Highlights of our research include:
- Given the severity of the current economic downturn and the potential for a lengthy and gradual recovery that will likely be measured in terms of years rather than months, Linux is in a desirable competitive position to emerge from this downturn as a stronger solution with a key position in the industry.
- A worldwide survey by IDC capturing data on usage plans for and satisfaction levels with Linux server operating systems finds that Linux customers are highly satisfied and are ready to deploy additional Linux instances as a direct action in response to budget concerns or budgetary reductions being imposed by corporate management. While budget concerns sweep across all geographies and business verticals, North American businesses are among the most pessimistic when it comes to increased IT spending or even spending at prior-year levels.
- Linux distributions are entering a new phase of maturity today, with a second generation of major releases based on the 2.6.x Linux kernel emerging from the industry’s top vendors. These products feature more mature management tools, integrated virtualization, and virtualization-compatible use rights, and today they also boast a larger application portfolio and better interoperability with other mainstream corporate IT solutions.
- While Linux client operating systems have been the shining hope of opportunity for Linux for much of the past decade, Linux has failed to successfully capture a substantial share of traditional client deployments. However, the emergence of small portable form factors (commonly referred to as netbooks), the growing catalog of Web-based applications, the shift of growth opportunities away from mature markets to emerging geographies, OEMs increasingly preloading Linux on devices, and the continued antipiracy efforts by Microsoft help create a more favorable climate for Linux.
- Linux has enjoyed significant commercial success on server platforms, and today it is aptly categorized as the most widely available server operating system the industry has ever seen, with availability aboard every major architecture. Linux is also the operating system of choice for many cloud providers and ISVs delivering software appliances today.