According to a new report from research firm Gartner, the database market experienced a decline in sales in 2002, but Microsoft SQL Server experienced a substantial increase in sales and market share. In 2002, economic troubles hit the database market, which saw sales decline 7 percent from the previous year--from $7.1 billion to $6.6 billion. The decrease in spending helped Microsoft because of its relatively lower-priced relational database product.

IBM, with its UNIX, Windows, and mainframe database products, continued to lead the overall market with a 36.2 percent market share, despite the fact that the company's sales dropped almost 1 percent to $2.4 billion. Oracle, which experienced a 20 percent drop in revenues, came in second and still leads the relational database market for Windows and UNIX combined, with a 43 percent market share. Unlike IBM and Oracle, Microsoft experienced increased revenue and market share. Its revenue grew 17 percent to $1.2 billion, and its market share increased to 23 percent in the combined Windows and UNIX market. Microsoft is number one in the Windows database market. According to Gartner, the company took the lead with SQL Server in 2001.