The worldwide server market was worth US$10.6 billion in the second quarter of 2003, a scant 0.2 per cent higher than in the same quarter last year, according to revenue figures released Friday by International Data Corp.

The market for servers based on standard Intel Corp. architecture has now overtaken the commercial Unix server market, growing 10.7 per cent to reach revenue of US$4.46 billion. Unix server sales dropped 5.2 per cent from the year-earlier period for revenue of US$4.3 billion, according to IDC.

The market for Linux-based servers grew at 39.5 per cent year-on-year to reach US$650 million, while blade server revenue reached US$119 million, almost eight times more than in the second quarter of 2002.

The shifting market was reflected in the varying fortunes of the leading vendors. IBM Corp. took over from Hewlett-Packard Co. as the leading server vendor overall following 10.1 per cent year-on-year revenue growth compared with HP’s 0.4 per cent growth.

Although HP leads IBM in each of the three main Intel-standard, Unix and Linux markets, IBM still gains considerable sales from proprietary server hardware such as the iSeries, giving it overall market leadership.

Sun Microsystems Inc. saw sales fall by 18.7 per cent over the year and is being challenged for its third position by Dell Inc., whose sales grew 10 per cent over the year, according to IDC figures.