Windows 7 to crack 40% share by year's end
But likely destined to be last Microsoft OS that sees large-scale deployment, says Gartner
Computerworld - Windows 7 will be on 42% of the world's computers by the end of this year, a Gartner analyst predicted today.
But that 2009 edition will probably be the last of Microsoft's operating systems to be deployed to desktops en masse, said Annette Jump, a Gartner research director. Instead, organizations will opt for rival architectures -- including Mac OS X and tablets -- and roll out future editions of Windows via virtualization backed by in-the-cloud storage.
Jump credited the surge in Windows 7 enterprise installations to improvements in IT budgets over the last 18 months, which will pay off by the end of this year with a dramatic move to the newer OS.
In the U.S. business market, Windows 7 will power about 40% of all enterprise PCs by the end of 2011, compared to just 6% or so at the close of 2010.
"Migration to Windows 7 will happen really quickly," said Jump. "It's already happening at a rapid pace in the U.S."
Europe's shift to Windows 7 will be slightly slower in the enterprise, Jump added, because company budgets are tighter there. Other markets that will take longer to push Windows 7 to a plurality include Japan, where the recovery from March's earthquake and tsunami will hinder growth, and in the Middle East, where political unrest is rife.
Other metrics seem to support Jump's conclusion that Windows 7 is gaining ground, although not at the pace forecast by Gartner.
Web measurement company Net Applications -- which tracks operating system usage worldwide by monitoring visitors to some 40,000 websites -- had Windows 7 with a 28% share at the end of July, and for the first time, the decade-old Windows XP under the 50% mark.
Projections based on Net Applications' data show that Windows 7 won't exceed 40% globally until the third quarter of 2012, meaning that it's unlikely any one edition of Microsoft's OS will match the prodigious share once owned by XP.
But any way you call the numbers, said Jump, Microsoft faces a problem after Windows 7.
Many organizations will skip Windows 8, which is slated to ship next year, said Jump, citing what she called "migration fatigue" after their Windows 7 push. And by the time they're ready to move off Windows 7, other forces will be in play.
"When they're ready to migrate again, maybe in 2016-2017, many alternative architectures will be more mature, and more users will be using alternate devices, like tablets and Mac OS, and potentially saving data in the cloud," said Jump.
The Mac is already making inroads on Windows' dominance, she added, and Apple's share of new machines will only increase. Gartner forecasts that Mac OS will be on 4.5% of new systems in 2011, up from 4% in 2010 and 3.3% in 2008, and grow to 5.2% by 2015.
- HP sticks thumb in Microsoft's eye, discounts consumer Windows 7 PCs
- Microsoft retracts Windows 7 PC end-of-sales deadline
- Microsoft ends Windows 7 retail sales
- Microsoft promises IE11 on Windows 7
- Boutique PC seller laughs all the way to the bank on the back of Windows 7
- Microsoft starts auto-installing Windows 7 SP1 on consumer PCs Tuesday
- Microsoft warns of looming retirement for Windows 7 RTM
- Consumer Reports makes case for Windows 7 PCs
- Microsoft doubles support lifespan for consumer Windows 7, Vista
- At CES, Microsoft sets stage for lower Windows revenue
- Path Selection Infographic Path Selection Infographic
- Hyperconvergence Infographic A wide range of observers agree that data centers are now entering an era of "hyperconvergence" that will raise network traffic levels faster...
- Preparing Your Infrastructure for the Hyperconvergence Era From cloud computing and virtualization to mobility and unified communications, an array of innovative technologies is transforming today's data centers.
- How WAN Optimization Helps Enterprises Reduce Costs If you wanted to break down innovation into a tidy equation, it might go something like this: Technology + Connectivity = Productivity. Productivity...
- Cloud Knowledge Vault Learn how your organization can benefit from the scalability, flexibility, and performance that the cloud offers through the short videos and other resources...
- LIVE EVENT: 5/7, The End of Data Protection As We Know It. Introducing a Next Generation Data Protection Architecture. Traditional backup is going away, but where does this leave end-users? All Windows White Papers | Webcasts