Oracle market share slips

Although Oracle Corp. holds the lead in the database software market, it continues to lose ground to competitors IBM and Microsoft, according to a new report issued by market researcher International Data Corp. (IDC), Framingham, Mass.

According to the report, Oracle's 41.7% share of the database market in 2001 slipped to 39.4% last year. At the same time, IBM and Microsoft gained considerable market share, according to IDC. According to the researcher, Big Blue gained a 9% share, and now holds 33.6% of the market. Meanwhile, Microsoft picked up a whopping 15% share, which gives the folks in Redmond a relatively small but significant 11.1% piece of the DB pie.

Carl Olofson, author of the report, concluded that IBM and Microsoft gained on Oracle by slashing price tags and offering products targeted specifically to small- and medium-sized businesses. And some Oracle clients have two-year-old licenses that they haven't used yet, Olofson wrote, which hasn't helped the company's sales.

The report also shows a continuing decline in Sybase Inc.'s share, while NCR Corp.'s Teradata unit grew slightly.

According to the report, Sybase's share fell 3.6% to 3.8%, while Teredata, used primarily in very large data warehouse systems, grew to 1.7% from 1.6%. These top five companies collectively account for almost 90% of database software sales worldwide, the report said.

About the Author

John K. Waters is a freelance writer based in Silicon Valley. He can be reached at


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