ANALYSTS at Gartner have forecast that Microsoft's Windows 7 operating system (OS) will be running on 42 per cent of in use PCs by the end of the year.
The means the end of Windows XP dominance and is a result of improvements to IT budgets this year and last, according to Gartner. It has also helped that 94 per cent of new PCs are being shipped with Windows 7 this year.
Annette Jump, research director at Gartner said, "By the end of 2011, nearly 635 million new PCs worldwide are expected to be shipped with Windows 7. Many organisations have been planning their deployment of Windows 7 for the last 12 to 18 months, and are now moving rapidly to Windows 7."
However, Windows isn't the only operating system to see higher take-up. Mac OS X saw an increase of 0.7 per cent in shipments between 2008 and 2010 and Gartner predicts it will grow to 4.5 per cent of PCs by the end of this year and on to 5.2 per cent by 2015.
Gartner said, "Shipments will grow stronger in mature markets where consumers are buying into the Apple product ecosystem."
The forecast predicts that Windows 7 will be the last of Microsoft's operating systems to be deployed through "big corporate migration". Gartner believes that organisations will turn to "alternative client computing architectures" and opt for virtualisation and cloud solutions over the next five years.
Because of the barrier of application migration from Windows, Gartner expects Linux to remain a niche OS with a market share of less than two per cent. As for other OS options such as WebOS, Android and Chrome OS, well, Gartner doesn't think they will gain any significant PC market share. µ
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