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If you’re a Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) investor looking for good news wherever you can find it, it looks to me like Windows-based-server shipments from the factory - as measured by worldwide revenue - surpassed Unix/Linux-box shipments for the first time ever in the third quarter of 2009.

I’ve only been looking at these quarterly IDC's findings since 2006 but I doubt if Windows surpassed Unix/Linux in years before I started watching this trendline for no other reason than Linux is continuing to gain at Unix’s expense.

Linux boxes accounted for 14.4% of the total, also a high for that category. Unix-based boxes only accounted for 27% of the revenue, only the second time that number has dipped below 30% in the years I have been watching.

I continue to look at it as “Windows is progressively gaining against ‘other’." As I said the last time I posted on the subject, my opinion is that despite the press hype and conventional wisdom, Linux and Windows probably do not meet much in the marketplace. Especially because the marketplace is driven by the OEM.

I say "if you’re looking for good news" above because overall, of course, there was none. The illustration shows percentages but these are percentages of an increasingly smaller pie. On a trailing 12-month basis, server shipments are down 21% with Unix, Linux and Windows-based server shipments down about 20% and ‘other’ (mostly mainframes) down 25%. IDC seems to think the bottom has been hit, though.