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Windows Servers Neck and Neck with Unix Servers 492

BrainSurgeon writes "According to the Register, Windows based servers are now even with Unix based servers in terms of sales for the first time ever." From the article: "In an overall up server market, IDC counted $4.2bn worth of Microsoft Windows server sales on the back of 12 percent growth. Total Unix sales also hit $4.2bn in the period, IDC said, on 3 per cent revenue growth. Those totals left Microsoft and Unix systems holding 35 per cent of the server market each."
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Windows Servers Neck and Neck with Unix Servers

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  • Okay so... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by LWATCDR ( 28044 ) on Tuesday May 31, 2005 @06:15PM (#12688600) Homepage Journal
    What the heck is running the other 30%?
    Netware and OS/X?
    • Re:Okay so... (Score:3, Insightful)

      by epiphani ( 254981 )
      Linux, *bsd.. and anything else that probably isnt purchased with the OS preinstalled.

      How many of you get your servers with an OS installed on it? I surely dont. Then I install linux. And I buy a crapload of hardware.
    • Re:Okay so... (Score:3, Informative)

      by breadbot ( 147896 )

      According to the article, Linux accounted for 10% of sales:

      Linux server sales continued to show the strongest growth at 35.2 per cent and accounted for $1.2bn in sales. Linux servers made up 10 per cent of total sales in the quarter.

      So Linux is being must be counted separately from Unix.

      • Interesting. If Linux and Unix were counted together, that would be a 45% market as opposed to Microsoft's 35%.

        Does anyone know off the tops of their heads if Linux has always been counted separately in IDC statistics, or if this is new? If it's always been this way, then bully for Windows; however you feel about the OS personally, it's kicking pretty good butt in sales.

        However, if this is the first year Linux, BSD, and other free Unix OS variants haven't been included in the Unix count, then this is awfu
      • How much is that dollar amount offset due to the fact that you don't necessarily have to pay for Linux?
    • Linux is the fastest growing...

      From the article "Linux server sales continued to show the strongest growth at 35.2 per cent and accounted for $1.2bn in sales. Linux servers made up 10 per cent of total sales in the quarter."
    • Re:Okay so... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ReverendLoki ( 663861 ) on Tuesday May 31, 2005 @06:21PM (#12688684)
      From the article, it says that Linux sales accounted for 10%, implying heavily (though not outright stated) that Linux sales were not counted among Unix sales, and rightfully so. One could say, however, that sales of Unix-like servers were at 45% of the total market, 10% ahead of MS. But only if you really wanted to.

      Still, this leaves us with 20% unaccounted for. What percentage of these were sold w/o an OS, and how many of these will end up with Linux (OK, fine, or BSD) on them? What other Operating Systems are filling in the gaps?

      • In other news some teenager installed Vmware and ran 15000 instances of Linux on one box. Now linux has increased its market share by 15000 overnight.

      • Re:Okay so... (Score:3, Insightful)

        Yeh, but Linux sales?! I'm sure Sun, SGI, IBM, HP et al Unices are all payed up, but how many Linux servers were bought and payed for? I'm having trouble thinking of any that weren't downloaded distros and either built from parts or converted Windows boxes.
      • Other IBM OSs? (Score:3, Interesting)

        by belrick ( 31159 )
        How about OS/400. Lots of retail POS ISVs run the server code on AS/400 (iSeries). And how about zOS? Still a lot of banks and insurance companies run their core apps on mainframe.
    • According to the article, Linux servers are not counted as Unix. They make up 10%.

      Another chunk would probably be IBM mainframes running MVS. I would think this would be replacement hardware and license maintenance, etc.

      I would guess that servers running MacOS X are counted as Unix sales.

      • Despite HPs attempts to kill the alpha platform, I would guess some of the unknown OS section would go to VMS still. We still get lots of request for Alpha systems and VMS.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      What the heck is running the other 30%?
      Cleary Amiga.
    • Probably linux.

      I hope I don't have to remind you that
      UNIX != Linux

  • Sales != volume (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Ithika ( 703697 ) on Tuesday May 31, 2005 @06:15PM (#12688607) Homepage
    Who wants to bet that maybe Microsoft just charge more? :)
    • Exactly; what would be nice to see is a count of the number of servers purchased, so people could get and idea of how much of their hard earned money is going for software licenses.
    • Who wants to bet that maybe Microsoft just charge more? :)

      ...and keep charging after the initial sale too. Truly independent TCO studies have repeatedly shown
      that Linux servers are cheaper to maintain than Windows servers.
    • Re:Sales != volume (Score:5, Interesting)

      by kfg ( 145172 ) on Tuesday May 31, 2005 @06:25PM (#12688733)
      The movie studios use this trick to imply popularity all the time. That's why everything is trumpeted by gross sales and not tickets sold.

      It only cost a nickle to go see Gone With the Wind in first run.

    • Who wants to bet that maybe Microsoft just charge more? :)

      You're probably right. Just like last quarter Apple sold more desktop Macs than the previous quarter but made less money per unit because they began to sell a lot of Mac minis which were cheaper.

    • Re:Sales != volume (Score:4, Insightful)

      by codeguy007 ( 179016 ) on Tuesday May 31, 2005 @06:40PM (#12688870)
      Than who Unix vendors or Linux Vendors. The Unix Vendors still charge a far bit more for their OS than Microsoft in a lot of cases.
    • by hayden ( 9724 ) on Tuesday May 31, 2005 @07:55PM (#12689456)
      The numbers would probably be even better for windows if it was measured by quantity rather than money. At most places, when a windows machine is bought it is bought for doing one thing and one thing only. You end up with a pile of windows boxes doing one thing and being mostly idle.

      Unix is more typically loaded up, running as many things as the hardware can handle. When it starts getting too loaded then you buy another one (usually a bigger one).

      We've recently bought two quad processor linux machines running vmware to run a dozen or more windows servers. Two linux sales, a dozen windows sales.

    • Re:Sales != volume (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Seumas ( 6865 ) on Tuesday May 31, 2005 @09:28PM (#12690155)
      THIS JUST IN!!!

      Stupid shit tends to be more popular than high quality shit!

      Britney Spears has more sales than Tom Waits, but that doesn't mean she's better.
  • by KiloByte ( 825081 ) on Tuesday May 31, 2005 @06:16PM (#12688616)
    And now, count the servers that are:
    • built by hand,
    • bought without an OS, or
    • defenestrated
    • Do the defenestrated take account twice due to subsequent RMA, or is that written up as a loss and deduction from total sales? After the initial defenestration, do subsequent defenestrations by the same user count as more sales or more losses? I mean, if I throw four computers out a window, does it count as $40k in M$ sales despite that being part of the standard operating costs on Microsoft's side (hardware being free and all) or is it considered $40k more in sales, as well as 5x the market share as just
  • by nizo ( 81281 ) *
    Blade servers continued to be one of the hotter items - excuse the pun - as revenue increased 106 per cent year-over-year in this segment.

    Do blade servers run hot? Or do the British heat their knives over an open flame? Can someone explain to me what the pun is in this sentence???

    • Blade servers are notorious for poor heat distribution.
      • by nizo ( 81281 ) *
        Ahh. I have avoided buying blade servers because the PHB is more impressed spending money on a big blinkey box to go next to the other big blinkey boxes rather than a little blinkey box with more horsepower than all of the other big blinkey boxes put together. Besides I have a better chance at getting disablity later when I go deaf from the several dozen fans that produce a noise much like that of a jet getting ready to take off.
    • Re:Pun? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by AmigaAvenger ( 210519 ) on Tuesday May 31, 2005 @06:20PM (#12688675) Journal
      blade servers are VERY hot, at least compared to the density. A full rack of blades is nearly impossible, you simply can't cool the rack enough to run it. (most vendors don't tell you this, although IBM recently started admitting that fact)
      • Depends on the design. Our blades can be cooled just as well as a Rack of 1Us. However since our blades provide 25% more nodes than 1Us they also require 25% more air conditioning.
      • Hmm. I would think they'd use peltiers or heat pipes (or both) to move the heat to the back where it could be whisked away by the AC system. I've seen a few of those systems and they ARE pretty tight on the inside.

        So if you want to be a cooling and ductwork engineer (Like Harry Tuttle?) do you major in thermodynamics in college?

    • This ties in with the MIPS/Watt thing i was talking about in a previous post. If you're planning on buying blade servers the only sane solution is a Transmeta based one rather than Intel or AMD.

      • Bull. The MIPS/Watt thing is the same with 1U, 2U, 5U and blade systems running the same processor. The question is are you pushing enough air through the case to cool the system? Or are you using an alternative cooling solution that's adequate?

        Most blade solutions sacrifice cooling to provide more density and thus run hotter but I can guarrantee you that our current blade design runs cooler not hotter than our 1Us.

        Why? Because we push more air through the blades than we do with a 1U.
    • You can save a lot of space if you have a rack of blade servers. The trade off is that cooling a rack of blade servers cost two to three times as much of having a rack of 1U servers. That's why blade servers are a "hot" item these days.
    • Re:Pun? (Score:4, Funny)

      by Hatta ( 162192 ) on Tuesday May 31, 2005 @06:39PM (#12688861) Journal
      Do blade servers run hot? Or do the British heat their knives over an open flame? Can someone explain to me what the pun is in this sentence???

      Maybe he's just been doing hot knives. [overgrow.com]
  • I'm suprised (Score:4, Interesting)

    by detritus` ( 32392 ) <[awitzke] [at] [wesayso.org]> on Tuesday May 31, 2005 @06:17PM (#12688625) Homepage Journal
    I'm suprised they didnt mention that Linux servers had the greatest overall growth with 35.4%, and that they're 10% of the entire market. Now if Microsoft hits the 50% mark then thats when i'll start believingthe whole Unix/*BSD is dead hype

    • You would be mistaken to do that since it IS expected that Microsoft will take 50% of the market.

      Problem for Microsoft is they then have to hold it against a rapidly increasing Linux - which right now is taking sales from UNIX more than it is Microsoft.

      But once proprietary UNIX is dead - and it will be within five years or so - Windows server market share will then be eroded by Linux, resulting probably in a 75-25 distribution favoring Linux over the next five years.

      Windows servers won't entirely go away
    • "Linux server sales continued to show the strongest growth at 35.2 per cent and accounted for $1.2bn in sales. Linux servers made up 10 per cent of total sales in the quarter."

    • I'm suprised they didnt mention that Linux servers had the greatest overall growth with 35.4%, and that they're 10% of the entire market

      Computerworld's take on the story was a dose of ice cold water:

      Windows Server 2003, DataCenter Server and Windows Server 2003, Enterprise Edition are all selling well, according to IDC's enterprise group chief, Jean S. Bozman.

      Bozman also said that she could not see Linux overtaking either Windows or Unix in the foreseeable future, mainly because Linux is starting

      • Is that this is happening DESPITE all the problems with Windows-related security. I guess all those MCSE's are really bucking to keep themselves employed.
      • Re:I'm suprised (Score:3, Interesting)

        by 1lus10n ( 586635 )
        Whats she is saying is not a bucket of cold water. Its just a fact. Given the current growth rate of linux it will be grabing 22% of quarterly sales in a year. Thats not impossible, but its not entirely likely either. Expand that out and all of a sudden its going to be on everything sold.

        She is basically saying that because Linux is new and coming from a small base its growth percentage is out of whack and its impossible to predict what percentages it will post going forward.
  • by LilGuy ( 150110 ) on Tuesday May 31, 2005 @06:17PM (#12688630)
    That doesn't count towards how many servers are running linux/unix without having paid for it... in regards to how many servers are out there of each, you can't go by just the sales. I would say linux/unix probably outweighs windows in quantity of servers on the net.
    • It doesn't even count all those desktop boxes acting as servers. Once, when the Xbox was still a good deal for the hardware you got in it we even considered buying Xboxes and installing linux on them to have cheap servers which don't run too hot.
      No, it just counts physical entities sold with the label "server" and tries to determine what the people paid for them and what software was delivered with them. But that's nothing new.
    • Yeah but I'm sure that Bill & Co would have no problem with you paying MS for 10 server licenses and then dropping Linux on them (at least not as much of a problem as you buying from Sun). Sorta like Ford wouldn't mind you buying 2 Mustangs, running them off a cliff, then refurbishing an old Camaro.
  • Depressing. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    I wonder if this will make UNIX vendors realize that unless they can get a consumer UNIX, like Linux, out there and viable, erosion is going to continue. Windows will continue to eat up the server space for as long as people need Exchange and Active Directory servers. We need to remove the need for Exchange and Active Directory servers.

    • That's happening right now.

      There are good Exchange equivalents, and Samba 4 will be able to serve as an AD Primary Domain Controller, supposedly. (If not, I'm sure Samba 5 WILL.)

      We also need to emphasize the benefits of PostgreSQL and MySQL over the very expensive MS SQL Server.
    • Re:Depressing. (Score:4, Insightful)

      by pedantic bore ( 740196 ) on Tuesday May 31, 2005 @08:09PM (#12689570)
      We need to remove the need for Exchange and Active Directory servers.

      I wish I had mod points so I could mod this up.

      The vast majority of sizeable businesses are wired into Exchange. There's no suitable replacement in the OSS world, much less a drop-in replacement. Without this, it's next to impossible to get into this space.

  • Calculation (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Wm_K ( 761378 )
    Does this mean they took the value of the entire server market and calculated the share of Windows server from the size of the sales... (100/35)*4.2bn = $12bn total market? Doesn't this mean that the amount of Unix installs per server is still much bigger because Unix (if it includes *bsd) is cheaper?
  • by Alcimedes ( 398213 ) on Tuesday May 31, 2005 @06:21PM (#12688678)
    I wonder if this isn't more of a sign that OSS is making some headway. Linux server sales are way up according to the article, and they compare Unix and Windows servers based on cost.

    My understanding is that more major server sales folks who are pushing some Unix flavor are trying to make their money on the Service that goes with the server, not the actual initial sale. In which case it would make sense that you could knock the price down on the Unix server that's running a free OS vs. the same machine that has a 500 CAL license for Windows 2003.

    I wish they would have given us number of units vs. the cost of units.

    This is just murky adspeak.
  • by chuckball ( 457795 ) on Tuesday May 31, 2005 @06:21PM (#12688682) Journal
    10 idiots want to buy a lemon for $10/each and 100 people buy a tasty pear for $1/each.

    Is it just me or does it seem like there are still a hell of lot more pears out there...
  • It is not neck and neck anymore, I just brought a windows server so Windows wins by massive margin of US$4,000.
  • by wardk ( 3037 ) on Tuesday May 31, 2005 @06:23PM (#12688709) Journal
    so with the same number of servers, the load they are processing is 50-50 too, right?

    Here are some official numbers from the WGAF 2005 Study of total workload being handled on the net.

    Unix 85%
    Windows 10%
    Other 5%

    HOWEVER, these numbers get funny when you factor in computing time spend running malware.

    Windows outperforms Unix and others in this important category. Truly Windows has no peers when executing excrement.

    Unix .0001
    Other .0002
    Windows 99.9997

    These are REAL NUMBERS folks. every one of them. even the 7
  • Corrolation (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ndansmith ( 582590 ) on Tuesday May 31, 2005 @06:24PM (#12688719)
    This seems to be a simple corrolation of Windows penetration into the mainstream computer market. Employees use Windows machines at home, and therefore prefer to use them at work. Business like to use Windows Server 2003 and Exchange to tie their nice WinXP Pro network together. Windows Server 2003 comes with IIS, which you might as well use for ftp and http servers, since it is already included.

    So in this case the sales increase is not necessarily based on the quality of the offering but on the convenience.

  • As Usual, More FUD (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Master of Transhuman ( 597628 ) on Tuesday May 31, 2005 @06:25PM (#12688736) Homepage

    The report actually indicates that Windows Servers are gaining a smaller share of the server market INCREASE than they should, and Linux is gaining TWICE as much as it should if they were all actually gaining an equal share.

    Also a number of idiot commentators are saying "Windows servers wipes the floor with Linux" when in fact the report shows that both Windows and Linux are wiping the floor with PROPRIETARY UNIX.

    Yawn - big surprise. This has been a foregone conclusion of every analyst for the past two or three years - that Linux (and to a lesser degree Windows) will replace proprietary UNIX and then the battle will come down to Linux vrs Windows - which Linux will win handily.
    • yeah, and also all those reports are not taking into account the servers already running, there are comapines that have propietary Unix servers on and working and are not planning to replace them with Linux or Windows because they work just fine.
  • by KillerBob ( 217953 ) on Tuesday May 31, 2005 @06:26PM (#12688745)
    As is always the case...

    The raw number of sales between Unix-based and Microsoft-based servers not being considered by the article. The dollar-value of sales is what they're looking at. In terms of dollar value, as much money was spent on Microsoft-based servers as on Unix-based servers, at $4.2bn

    If you're going to talk about the real number of servers being implemented, you need to consider the fact that, in general, Microsoft-based solutions cost a whole lot more than Unix-based solutions.

    Interestingly enough, $1.2bn was spent on Linux-based servers, and Linux-based servers accounted for the largest increase in sales.
  • by loudmax ( 243935 ) on Tuesday May 31, 2005 @06:30PM (#12688771) Homepage
    One of the reasons Microsoft is making such inroads into the server market is that they've really improved their operating system. Windows servers can be made reliable and secure if they're administered properly. Insofar as it brings choice to the marketplace, then having Windows as a realistic option for a server is a good thing.

    But don't lose sight of what's at stake. The Microsoft business model is to leverage it's monopoly in one area to drive out competition in another. If Microsoft will let Windows coexist peacefully with it's neighbors, then great. If they're true to form, though, they'll introduce incompatabilities and do everything they can to make sure businesses don't have any more of a choice in their server OS than their desktop OS.

    The struggle isn't just about running the cooler OS, or using the command line vs. a GUI. It's about freedom and choice.
    • One of the reasons Microsoft is making such inroads into the server market is that they've really improved their operating system.

      The biggest improvement I've seen is releasing Interix, which means they really support a functional UNIX environment and using UNIX tools on your Windows servers. What other improvements have they made?
  • > Linux server sales continued to show the
    > strongest growth at 35.2 per cent and
    > accounted for $1.2bn in sales. Linux
    > servers made up 10 per cent of total sales
    > in the quarter.

    Linux is Unix in that matter - Unix servers (as well as older Windoze boxes) are replaced by it.
  • I guess my home web server doesn't count in the statistics for server sales in the past year. I found the machine on the street, threw in a new hard drive from newegg, and it's running Debian GNU/Linux. I just did some work for a company that wanted me to get rid of their spam and also upgrade their website backend. The website backend project involved setting up mysql on an old server that they had laying around, and the spam filter is postfix+spamassassin+amavis+clamav running on Debian on an extra deskt
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Uh, interesting way to spin the original press release [idc.com], which prominently highlights 35 percent revenue growth for Linux, 12 percent Windows, 3 percent "Unix," which should really be called "Other Unix."

    Granted, the Linux server $1.2 billion factory revenue is less than a third of the Unix and less than a third of the Windows market, but hardly insignificant. Also much harder to trace, I reckon, given how many people strip Windows off a Dell and make a Linux server with a spare copy of Debian.
  • Corp Figures (Score:5, Insightful)

    by kenp2002 ( 545495 ) on Tuesday May 31, 2005 @06:46PM (#12688920) Homepage Journal
    Linux usage is certainly up, the ROLE of the server needs to be discussed. I have 24 linux machines at one client's location, too bad most of them are just proxy servers running squid with an LAMP for configuring them. While all the chatter about Linux making progress into corporate IT the role of the machine needs to be involved in the discussion?

    How many corporations have Linux-run PDCs? Email? File Respositories? Backup? All this talk about sales figures means little when you take out the role of the server out of the discussion. Without a breakdown along the Lines of X Windows 2003 Email Servers vs. Y Linux Email Servers the discussion really has little value besides a vague sales figure. The discussion of Linux, BSD, Windows, BEOS, Tiger, whatever is is lacking any real worth. Going on 11 years here soon and corporations are not cut and dry. What does this follow fact tell you (taken from one of my clients):

    # of Linux Machines 3
    # Of Windows 2003 Servers 24
    # Of Windows 2000 Professional Machines 8

    What do they use more? Windows? Not really. The 24 2003 Servers are used to simulate web traffic and other customized in-house traffic. Not one of those Windows servers is mission critical. The 8 2000 machines are the staff's workstations. The core critical machine that run's their entire manufacturing system is a linux machine. 1 Linux email server, and 1 linux firewall. Now looking at that figure you couldn't determine how important any of those servers are, we need more data in these discussions, it's incomplete.

    Purchasing numbers mean little. Even across a broad scope there is no direct correlation between number of copies of X and their level of importance in a company, if you think that probaility shows that given there are 2 milion copies of A and only 1 million copies B that A is used more in mission critical services I would recomend you avoid gambling. The Christian Bible is in over 50% of homes yet less then 10% of people can repeat the opening of Genesis. ("In the Beginning God created the heavens and the Earth" I believe.)

    I'll summarize with a classic Ken-ism:

    Take a typical computer, slap some SNMP on it and grab CACTI and monitor the staff in a building. I bet you the average work-hour utilization of the processors will never exceed 50%. 10 years is hasn't. Just because you have a 3.4 GHz processor doesn't mean you'll use all that CPU power.

    For you drivers out there your speedometer can post 125 MPH... doesn't mean your gonna ever go that fast right?

    --END RANT + LUV--
  • by Husgaard ( 858362 ) on Tuesday May 31, 2005 @06:48PM (#12688936)
    I see a lot of servers being purchased with MS-Windows installed, but running Linux or BSD before they are put into production.

    An example I recently was involved in: I work with a company doing software. Big and mission-critical systems. One big customer wanted a really big installation of this software. We recommended that this was run on either Linux, BSD or Solaris. Our customer had hired their own consultancy company, and these consultants were very pro-Microsoft. So the customer said "We need this to run on MS-Windows", and we said "Ok, our software can run on MS-Windows, although we cannot recommend it.".

    So a big server park was ordered with MS-Windows preinstalled.

    Then, as the project progressed, the customer also hired an Oracle consultant. This consultant said "I would not sleep well at night if these Oracle servers are running on MS-Windows. Other systems will give you more stable operation". So all the operating systems on the Oracle servers were scrapped, and Linux was installed instead.

    Then, when all the servers were sent to a hosting provider, the hosting provider said to the customer "We see that while the Oracle servers run Linux, all the application servers run MS-Windows. We will be better at supporting this system if all the servers run the same OS, and you will probably have better uptime if running linux on the application servers too. If you don't mind we will install Linux on the application servers for you free of charge.". The customer accepted.

    So while this big server park was purchased with MS-Windows pre-installed, all servers were running Linux before the system was put into use.

    • Notice the important point of this story beyond the fact that purchased Windows servers were exchanged for Linux:

      Everybody involved (except the one Microsoft-based consultancy) KNEW that Linux had better stability and maintainability than Windows! Why? Because they've been there and done that with Windows and Linux!
  • Separating Linux from "trademark-UNIX" in this sort of comparison is just plain deceptive. You can find more differences between different trademark-UNIX versions than between most trademark-UNIX versions and Linux.

    So UNIX server sales are at least 45% to Windows 35%, and I wouldn't be surprised to find UNIX sales in the remaining 20% as well. Especially since the #1 manufacturer is IBM with their "penguin farms".

    This is typical of these survey summaries. And of course you can't get at the actual results
  • by delire ( 809063 ) on Tuesday May 31, 2005 @07:08PM (#12689094)

    Now there's a bad start.
  • They say this in the article:

    In an overall up server market, IDC counted $4.2bn worth of Microsoft Windows server sales on the back of 12 percent growth. Total Unix sales also hit $4.2bn in the period, IDC said, on 3 per cent revenue growth. Those totals left Microsoft and Unix systems holding 35 per cent of the server market each.

    So Windows server sales == Unix server sales. If at least some portion of unix server sales are linux based systems (or other ocasionally free systems such as BSD), doesn'

  • by dougnaka ( 631080 ) * on Tuesday May 31, 2005 @07:16PM (#12689142) Homepage Journal
    I had 2 racks almost full of 2U Dell's all with Windows Server 2000 licenses, and all running freely downloaded Linux.

  • Quick! (Score:3, Funny)

    by Jozer99 ( 693146 ) on Tuesday May 31, 2005 @08:03PM (#12689519)
    Quick! Somebody buy another server and break the tie!

They are called computers simply because computation is the only significant job that has so far been given to them.