Oracle extends lead over IBM and Microsoft in database sales

Oracle maintained its dominance of the database market last year, despite fast growth by Microsoft's SQL Server, preliminary figures from analyst IDC have shown.

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Oracle maintained its dominance of the database market last year, despite fast growth by Microsoft's SQL Server, preliminary figures from analyst IDC have shown.

Oracle Database generated $7.3bn (£3.65bn) in sales in 2006, giving the vendor 44.4% of the $16.5bn (£8.3bn) global market. "Oracle continued to glide along in first place, bolstered by apparently broad acceptance of the 10g R2 release and the success of key options," a report by IDC analyst Carl Olofson says.

IBM, primarily through its DB2 database, generated $3.5bn (£1.75bn) in sales. While that was up 11.9% from 2005, IBM failed to keep pace with Oracle's 14.7% growth, which also outpaced the overall market's 14.3% rate of year on year growth. IBM's market share fell slightly, from 21.6% in 2005 to 21.2% last year.

Microsoft, in third place, enjoyed the fastest rate of growth, 25%, giving it a total of $3.1bn (£1.55bn) in sales. It held 18.6% of the market at the end of the year.

Fourth placed Sybase and fifth placed NCR Teradata also grew, albeit at a pace slower than the market as a whole.

Other vendors, including MySQL, PostGreSQL and Ingres rang up $1.6bn (£800m) in sales last year but saw their collective share of the market fall from 10.7% to 9.9%.

IDC noted that the revenue figures include core products but not the features vendors sell as separate options, making like-for-like comparisons difficult.

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