The market for Linux-based servers will triple in volume and double in value by 2007, according to new research by IDC.

More than 162,000 Linux-based servers, worth $621 million will be shipped in western Europe in 2003. In four years time, the market will be worth $1.9 billion and will have seen volume growth of 203 percent, to almost half a million servers, IDC said in a statement.

The desktop market is likely to pick up, too, with 15.5 percent of business users considering them, IDC said.

Drivers behind Linux on the desktop include Sun's low-cost Linux PC, scheduled to ship in the next few months, and an announcement by Oracle in February that it would offer support to people using open-source software from the United Linux Consortium, IDC said.

The report was commissioned by the organizers of LinuxWorld, an exhibition due to take place in Birmingham, England, on Sept. 3 and Sept. 4.