Microsoft to port apps to Linux?
By 2006 Linux will be installed on 45% of all new Intel servers and by late 2004 Microsoft will start moving some of its application enablers such as .Net to Linux. These predictions were made by the MetaGroup in a recent report entitled “The Linux Scenario”. The research group says Microsoft will also start shifting backoffice applications such as SQL, IIS and Exchange to the Linux OS in the near future.
Linux currently accounts for 15%-20% of new server operating shipments, according to the report.
“We also believe Microsoft will reprice and/or separate the Windows server OS (into kernel and add-on components), so it can be favourably compared against free Linux. As a result of Linux’s growing market share,and the support of IBM, Oracle, HP and Dell, we believe systems management, networking, application development, and applications in general will increasingly be available on Linux platforms during the next12-18 months.
“In 2003, leading-edge users and even some ‘fast followers’ will move to Linux. By late 2003, managing and administering Linux will be mainstream,” predicts Meta.
Linux acceptance gained significant momentum in the first half of 2002, says the report, having moved from “bleeding edge” to “early adopter” status.
“Until 2004, we believe Linux will be a larger threat to Unix (particularly Solaris) than to Windows.
The reports says that while Linux is still only a small enterprise data center player with a 3% penetration, strong growth through to 2007 is likely to propel it to an 11% share. At this point the group predicts Unix will own 40% market share; Windows 38% others 11%.
By 2012 this figure could be as high as 26% with Windows holding 51%, Unix 20% and others a mere 3% with the real winner being Intel which stands to gain a 95% share of all new server shipments. The report says the prediction reflects “the market’s continued drive for cost-effective hardware. 2007-12 platform demographics will reflect Intel’s expanded dominance (from 54% to 82%) at the expense of both RISC (falling from 35% to 15%) and CISC (IBM’s complex instruction set computers – falling from 11% to 3%).”
The bottom line says, Meta is “users should exploit Intel-based solutions which will continue to be the
low-cost dominant solution – over more expensive RISC and CISC alternatives.”
Mainstream Linux deployment for Windows replacement, especially on the PC desktop, says Meta will remain small, driven by total-cost-of-ownership skepticism, risk aversion and user experience and support concerns. “But we expect increased deployment in limited function environments such as point-of-sale terminals, data entry, customer interaction centers, on appliance devices, in education and government, and in selected geographies with strong technical underpinnings and minimal Windows installed bases such as India and China.”