By the end of 2011, 42 percent of PCs in use worldwide will be running Windows 7, according to new forecast by Gartner Inc.
Gartner is also predicting that 94 percent of new PCs will ship with Windows 7 installed this year, analysts said on August 9.
Improvements in IT spending in 2010 and 2011 are accelerating deployment of Windows 7 in the U.S. and Asian Pacific enterprise markets, Gartner said.
"However, the economic uncertainties in Western Europe, political instability in selected Middle East and Africa (MEA) 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," analysts warned.
Other predictions from Gartner's "Forecast Analysis: PC OS Market, Worldwide, 2008-2015, 2011 Update":
- "Windows 7 is likely to be the last version of Microsoft OS that gets deployed to everybody through big corporatewide migration. In the future, many organizations will also use alternative client computing architectures for standard PCs with Windows OS, and move toward virtualization 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."
- Apple's share of the PC market continues to grow. By the end of 2011, Mac OS will be on 4.5 percent of PCs worldwide, up from 4 percent in 2010. By 2015, that number could reach 5.2 percent.
- Linux's share on the desktop will "remain niche" over the next five years, with below 2 percent share.
- Google's Chrome OS, Android and webOS won't gain any significant share on PCs in the next few years.
- In 2012 will the market will "reach the point of crossover between Windows-specific and OS-agnostic applications for enterprises, as 50 percent of the applications will be OS-agnostic." In the consumer market, that crossover already has happened, as a result of the growing acceptance of Web applications.
In June of this year, analysts with Forrester found that Windows 7 was running on 21 percent of corporate desktops, with Windows XP still on 60 percent of all business PCs.