Windows 7 will become the leading operating system (OS) on PCs worldwide by the end of 2011, Gartner, Inc’s latest PC OS forecast suggests.
The OS will run on 42pc of PCs in use by the end of the year, with 94pc of new PCs being shipped with Windows 7 in 2011, the forecast said.
"Steady improvements in IT budgets in 2010 and 2011 are helping to accelerate the deployment of Windows 7 in enterprise markets in the US and Asia/Pacific, where Windows 7 migrations started in large volume from Q4 2010," said Annette Jump, research director at Gartner.
"However, the economic uncertainties in Western Europe, political instability in selected Middle East and Africa countries and the economic slowdown in Japan after the earthquake and tsunami in March 2011 will likely lead to slightly late and slow deployment for Windows 7 across those regions."
Gartner’s forecast assumes Windows 7 is likely to be the last version of Microsoft OS that gets deployed to everybody through big corporate-wide migration. In the future, many organisations will also use alternative client computing architectures for standard PCs with Windows OS, and move toward virtualisation and cloud computing in the next five years.
"By the end of 2011, nearly 635m new PCs worldwide are expected to be shipped with Windows 7. Many enterprises have been planning their deployment of Windows 7 for the last 12 to 18 months, and are now moving rapidly to Windows 7," Jump said.
Mac operating system
Shipments of Apple iMacs and Mac OS share on new PCs have seen increases in the last year. Mac OS was shipped on 4pc of new PCs worldwide in 2010 versus 3.3pc in 2008. Mac OS is forecast to be on 4.5pc of PCs in 2011, and grow to 5.2pc of new PCs in 2015. Shipments will grow stronger in mature markets where consumers are buying into the Apple product ecosystem.
"The adoption of Mac PCs and Mac OS is a result of Apple’s ability to grow well above the market average in the last 12-24 months, thanks to its ease of use from the user interface point of view and ease of integration with other Apple devices, such as the iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and the existing Apple ecosystem of applications and programs," Jump said.
The Mac OS share still varies by region, as Apple has much stronger presence in North America and Western Europe. The fastest growth is expected to happen in selected emerging countries, where Apple and Mac OS are growing from a small base.
Photo: Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer at the launch of Windows 7 in New York