By the end of 2011, Windows 7 will become the leading operating system on PCs worldwide, running on 42 percent of them, according to technology research company Gartner.
Windows 7 migrations started in large numbers in fourth quarter 2010, according to Annette Jump, research director at Gartner. By the end of 2011, nearly 635 million new PCs worldwide are expected to be shipped with Windows 7, she said.
Gartner’s forecast assumes that Windows 7 is likely to be the last version of Microsoft OS that gets deployed to everybody through big corporatewide migration, as more companies move toward cloud computing, the research firm says.
Microsoft released Windows 7 toward the end of 2009 and it sold fast and furious, in part because demand had been pent up as companies stuck with Windows XP rather than upgrading to Windows Vista, Windows 7’s predecessor.
Gartner forecasts Windows 7 will take over from Windows XP as the leading OS on PCs.
Microsoft plans to stop supporting Windows XP in 2014 and the company’s download center even has an XP end-of-support countdown gadget.
Gartner also notes that shipment of Apple iMacs, and Mac OS share on new PCs, have increased in the past year, forecasting that Mac OS will be on 4.5 percent of PCs in 2011, and growing to 5.2 percent in 2015. Linux OS is expected to remain niche over the next five years with its share below 2 percent.
Gartner does not expect Chrome OS, Android or webOS to get any significant market share on PCs in the next few years.