After the debacle that was Windows Vista, Microsoft needed a hit, and it got one in the form of Windows 7, which debuted to solid reviews and sales in and out of the enterprise back in the fall of 2009. With Windows XP finally falling to the wayside after ten years and Windows Vista a bad dream many organizations skipped altogether, Windows 7 appears to be poised to take its place as the preeminent PC platform.
According to analyst firm Gartner, Windows 7 will hit that major milestone by the end of 2011. At that time, the platform will be running on 42% of all business and consumer PCs worldwide, making it the leading desktop and laptop operating system for the first time.
Greatly contributing to the explosion of Windows 7 PCs is an escalation in information technology spending and the follow through by enterprises with planned Windows 7 deployments. Late last year, Gartner predicted IT spending globally would rise by 3.1% to $2.5 trillion in 2011 from $2.4 trillion in 2010.
"Steady improvements in IT budgets in 2010 and 2011 are helping to accelerate the deployment of Windows 7 in enterprise markets in the U.S. and Asia/Pacific, where Windows 7 migrations started in large volume from 4Q10," said Gartner research director Annette Jump. "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."
The researcher estimates 94% of all new computers shipped this year will run on Windows 7. That's 635 million Windows 7 PCs in 2011 alone.
Gartner cautions that Windows 7 may be the last Microsoft operating system deployed to all employees through large-scale, corporate-wide migrations, however. Instead, you'll find many organizations using alternative client architectures and delivery methods, including for Windows, as they increasingly turn to virtualization and Cloud Computing over the next few years.
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