XP is yesterday's news
In just 12 months, Windows 7 will become the standard operating system for business PCs, analysts believe.
Currently, eight out of 10 new PCs run Windows XP, nearly eight years after the operating system was first released. By next year, that figure could drop by more than half, according to new research from industry watchers Forrester.
"Today, Windows XP is installed on four out of five new PCs. When we asked IT professionals to forecast their anticipated new PC deployments within 12 months from now, we discovered that Windows 7 will already be the primary OS deployed, with Windows Vista shrinking from 15 per cent to 10 per cent and Windows XP shrinking from 81 per cent to 34 per cent," Forrester's report said.
The research, which surveyed North American and European SMEs and enterprises, found that the majority of businesses using Windows XP plan to migrate straight to Windows 7 and without migrating to Vista first.
Of the companies polled, 61 per cent said they'll jump from XP to Windows 7, while just seven per cent said they plan to make a stop at Vista on the way.
For most businesses, migration to Windows 7 will be done on a piecemeal basis, with 38 per cent saying they'll deploy the OS on new PCs as they're rolled out, while a further 13 per cent said they plan to distribute the operating system to certain groups of users rather than across the whole company.
However, Forrester advises that IT departments should welcome any early adopters who want to install Windows 7 outside of their company's migration schedule.
"With Windows 7's reviews across industry and business publications overwhelmingly positive, we encourage IT to prepare for - and embrace - the pull effect that Windows 7 will likely have on your users.
"We discovered that 44 per cent of businesses will allow users to be early adopters of Windows 7, outside of specific upgrade campaigns, which will go a long way toward speeding up your companywide deployments and will minimise the time needed to support dual OSes," the Forrester report said.