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AMI-Partners Predicts Significant Growth for Linux Servers and Desktops in SMB Market, Driven by APAC GEOS and Channel Partners
[January 10, 2005]

AMI-Partners Predicts Significant Growth for Linux Servers and Desktops in SMB Market, Driven by APAC GEOS and Channel Partners

NEW YORK --(Business Wire)-- Jan. 10, 2005 -- User Challenges and a Dearth of Applications Still Hinder Growth, But Linux Gains Legitimacy from Vendors Such as Red Hat, HP, Novell and IBM

Small and medium businesses (SMBs) are expected to invest increasingly in Linux and open source technologies over the next five years. Growth will be particularly strong in key Asian and European markets where public government endorsements and policies are boosting visibility for Linux and open source. On a worldwide basis the number of Linux-owning SMBs is projected to rise from 1.2 million to 2.7 million businesses -- a compounded annual growth rate of 18%.

The above findings were released today by New York-based Access Markets International (AMI) Partners, Inc., a leading consulting firm specializing in IT, Internet, telecom and business services market intelligence, trends and strategy -- with a strong focus on global small and medium business (SMB) enterprises. AMI conducts the IT industry's most comprehensive annual tracking surveys of SMBs in a number of countries, including the U.S., Canada, France, Germany, the U.K., Australia, China, India, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Brazil and Mexico.

Highlights from AMI's Worldwide SMB Linux Forecast include the following:

-- Linux desktop shipments are expected to grow at a CAGR of 39% over the five-year forecast period on a worldwide basis.

-- Linux desktop installed-base growth will be driven primarily by MBs and larger SBs over the forecast period, advancing at a rate of 23%.

-- On a worldwide basis 4% of PC-owning SMBs are expected to adopt Linux, representing 6% of the SMB desktop installed base by 2008.

-- Server shipments are expected to grow at a CAGR of 34%, accounting for approximately 6% of the total SMB server installed base by 2008.

Recent survey findings from AMI-Partners show that Linux is gaining interest and share among SMBs. "Increasing support by brand-name vendors and expanded awareness among SMBs are helping drive adoption of Linux in this market," said Abhijeet Rane, Senior Vice President at AMI. "Asian and European SMBs in particular are very interested in Linux and open source applications because of the cost benefits," added Mr. Rane.

Key Market Drivers

The growing interest in open source -- and Linux in particular -- is the result of a number of factors. It is the cumulative effect of these issues that has led to the tremendous interest in and growing adoption of Linux among SMBs worldwide:

-- Increasing Cost of IT: SMBs are ever more reliant on increasingly expensive IT products and services for managing their businesses. This expanded investment has resulted in higher expenditures, leading SMBs to seek free open source alternatives.

-- Open Standards and Freedom from Vendor Lock-in: Open source software generally adheres to standards better than proprietary software, reducing reliance on vendor-specified file formats.

-- Government Policies: Open endorsement by Asian and European governments is giving credibility to Linux and open source.

-- Blue Chip Support: Products and support available from brand-name vendors such as IBM, HP and Novell lend credibility and increase confidence among SMBs.

AMI-Partners' Abhijeet Rane will discuss these and related findings in a special webcast presentation scheduled on Wednesday, January 26 at 1 PM EST. Those interested in registering for the webcast or in learning more about the Worldwide SMB Linux Forecast should contact Nancy Carty at 212-944-5100, ext. 580, or Mr. Rane will also be speaking at the Desktop Linux Summit to be held in San Diego on February 9-11, 2005.

About Access Markets International (AMI) Partners, Inc. (AMI-Partners)

AMI-Partners specializes in IT, Internet, telecommunications and business services strategy, venture capital and actionable market intelligence -- focusing on global small and medium business (SMB) enterprises. The AMI-Partners mission is to empower its clients for success with the highest quality data, business planning and "go-to-market" solutions. AMI was founded in 1996 under the name of Access Media International (USA), Inc. by Andy Bose, a former group vice president at IDC. Since its inception, the firm has built a world-class management team, each with ten to fifteen years' experience in IT, telecom, online communications and multimedia.

AMI-Partners has helped shape the go-to-market SMB strategies of more than 150 leading IT, Internet, telecommunications and business services companies over the last eight years. The firm is well known for its IT and Internet adoption-based segmentation of the SMB markets; its annual retainership services based on global SMB tracking surveys; and its proprietary database of several thousand SMBs in the U.S., Europe, Asia-Pacific and Latin America. The firm invests significantly in collecting survey-based information from several thousand SMBs annually, and is considered the premier source for global SMB trends and analysis.

For more information on AMI-Partners or our global SMB surveys, please visit or call 212-944-5100.

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