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Windows still rules OS roost, but Linux and Mac growing faster, says Gartner

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The worldwide market for operating system software grew nearly eight percent to $30.4 billion in 2010, led by Microsoft Windows with 78.6 percent market share, says Gartner. Yet Linux was the fastest growing server OS, and Apple's Mac OS had the fastest growth on the desktop, says the research firm.

Gartner's latest analysis covered server and client operating systems, though it should be noted that smartphones and embedded devices were not included. According to the research firm, worldwide server/client operating system (OS) revenue grew 7.8 percent to $30.4 billion in 2010, with Microsoft Windows continuing to lead the market by a wide margin.

Linux server and Mac OS were the fastest-growing sub-segments in the server and client OS segments, respectively. Meanwhile while Microsoft maintained its leading position in the overall OS market, with 78.6 percent market share.

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