In 2021, the commercial operating system environment (OSE) market grew revenue 7,4% to $14,6-billion, and is expected to grow to $17,7-billion in 2026 with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3,9%.

This is among the findings from new International Data Corporation (IDC) annual server operating system environment (OSE) market share and forecast reports as well as in-depth survey work conducted over the past several months.

Operating systems (OSs) have for decades been at the forefront of IT. But with drastic shifts over the past several years in terms of cloud uptake and a trend toward next generation use cases, including high performance computing (HPC) and artificial intelligence/machine learning (AI/ML), the dynamics of the OS market have shifted considerably.

It has become ever more incumbent on enterprises to consistently re-evaluate their infrastructure strategies as they pursue and undergo digital transformation.

IDC believes operating system selection to be one of the key pillars of this decision-making process. It continues to observe aggressive competition between commercial operating system suppliers themselves as well as the open source community as the core OSE market finds a new post-pandemic normal.

The core OSE market has accelerated considerably from where it was a few years ago, which prompted us to pose a variety of questions to ourselves and ultimately enterprise end users.

“IT over the past several years has proven itself to be resilient and ever-changing to meet the needs of societies around the world,” says Greg Macatee, senior research analyst: infrastructure systems, platforms and technologies group at IDC. “Core operating systems are at the heart of this activity, providing the foundation of enterprise stacks in an increasingly hybrid and multicloud world.

“Our new research highlights these trends with key themes ranging from how the global pandemic affected core operating system environment dynamics and selection criteria to our market expectations over the next few years. We have published several market share and forecast documents as well as conducted in-depth survey work related to these topics.”