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Growth for Linux Operating System Software

Worldwide revenue from Linux operating system software grew by 23.4 percent from 2007 to 2008, and that growth will be followed by a 2008-2013 compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 16.9 percent, according to the latest study by IDC.

With this growth, worldwide Linux operating systems revenue will cross $1 billion for the first time in 2012, growing to $1.2 billion by 2013.

By comparison, Linux server operating system subscriptions will exhibit a different profile, with a contraction of net new subscriptions expected in 2009, followed by a steady recovery through 2013.

Meanwhile, non-paid Linux server operating system deployments are predicted to grow more quickly than new subscriptions through 2013, leading to a net increase of non-paid Linux server operating systems deployed compared to total worldwide Linux server operating systems being placed into service.

The combined total of Linux server operating system subscriptions and non-paid deployments is expected to show a 2008-2013 CAGR of 1.1 percent -- a low growth rate that is impacted significantly by the anticipated contraction in 2009.

IDC notes that this low growth rate of new deployment can be misleading, since growth of virtualized deployments will also be taking place aboard existing servers, a metric not directly considered in the predicted growth of net new subscriptions and deployments.

"We find that more customers are seeing non-paid Linux as a viable solution for certain non-critical business needs, despite the lack of commercial applications and the potential support challenges that come with a non-commercially-supported distribution." said Al Gillen, program vice president, System Software at IDC.

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