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Windows 7 to be top OS predicts Gartner

OS will be running on 42% of PCs worldwide by end of 2011, according to research

Windows 7 to be top OS predicts Gartner
Gartner has predicted that Windows 7 OS will be running on 42% of PCs in use by the end of 2011.

Windows 7 will be running on 42% of PCs in use by the end of 2011, according to research by Gartner. Windows 7 will become the most popular OS worldwide in the PC installed base.

Gartner's latest PC OS forecast shows 94% of new PCs will be shipped with Windows 7 in 2011.

"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 4Q10," 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 makes the assumption that Windows 7 is likely to be the last version of Microsoft OS that gets deployed to everybody through corporate-wide migration.

In the future, many organisations may 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 635 million 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.

Apple iMacs and Mac OS share on new PCs in increasing, with Mac OS shipping on 4% of new PCs worldwide in 2010 versus 3.3% in 2008.

The Mac operating system is forecast to be on 4.5% of PCs in 2011, and grow to 5.2% of new PCs in 2015. Gartner said that shipments of the Mac OS will grow 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 to 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.

Apple has much stronger presence in North America and Western Europe, while its fastest growth is expected to happen in emerging countries.

Open source OS, Linux is expected to remain niche over the next five years with its share below 2% because of the remaining high costs of application migration from Windows to Linux.

Linux will be run on less than 1% of PCs in the consumer market, as Linux's success with mini-notebooks was short-lived and few mini-notebooks are preloaded with it today.

According to Gartner, Chrome OS, Android and webOS will not get any significant market share on PCs in the next few years due to application compatibility issues and the high proportion of Windows-specific applications within many enterprises.

Gartner estimates that only in 2012 will the market reach the point of crossover between Windows-specific and OS-agnostic applications for enterprises, as 50% of the applications will be OS-agnostic. In the consumer space, Gartner believes that the proportion of OS-agnostic applications is already above the Windows-specific applications. This could help Chrome OS and Android make inroads into the consumer space in the next three to five years.

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