Forrester says "The New Desktop Standard Is Emerging With Windows 7". According to the US-based research company's new report, Updated 2010: Windows 7 Commercial Adoption Outlook, the business use of Microsoft's Windows 7 has already grown from 1% to 10%. Although Windows XP is still dominant, the report's summary says:
"IT managers worldwide are preparing for a significant desktop transformation over the next three years. Why? As firms naturally refresh their PCs, IT managers are already deploying Windows 7 on 31% of new PCs today, and within a year the number will increase to 83%."
According to Forrester, almost 90% of companies will migrate to Windows 7, and almost 50% will move next year.
The numbers are based on a survey of 774 PC decision-makers at both large and small businesses.
When Forrester surveyed the market last year (Q3 2009) for its report on Windows 7 Commercial Adoption Outlook, it said that "66% of the firms we surveyed expect to migrate to Windows 7 eventually, although most don't have firm plans yet. That leaves just 27% of organizations that haven't yet looked into Windows 7 thoroughly enough and 2% that are considering alternatives to Windows 7, namely Windows 8, Mac OS X, and Linux".
Markets usually divide into early adopters, mainstream adopters and late adopters. Clearly the mainstream is already moving, and it's a good bet that the late adopters will soon realise that the XP holdouts represent an unsustainable minority.
Microsoft's Rich Reynolds, general manager of Windows Commercial, told me last week that Windows 7's adoption was running at least twice as fast as XP's, and at least three times faster than Vista's. He also said he expected the rate to increase next year as companies complete pilot installations and application testing and start full roll-outs. He cited Boeing as an example: "it will do 7,200 this year: next year it will do 120,000".
Microsoft also released statistic for some other organisations. It said the city of Stockholm has already switched 36,699 desktops (more than 85%) to Windows 7, and is aiming to reach 44,000 by the end of 2011. General Motors has roughly 30,000 users on Windows 7, increasing to 80,000 by the end of 2011. Samsung has finished deploying Windows 7 on its desktops in South Korea -- the majority of its workforce -- but still has to update the ones overseas to reach a total of 1150,000. Continental Airlines, which was on Vista, started by deploying 4,000 Windows 7 desktops in June and is rolling it out to a total of 18,000.
Separately, Intel has said it is "implementing a program to rapidly deploy Microsoft Windows 7 across our large enterprise environment, in order to realize benefits such as increased user productivity and enterprise security". It says it has deployed Windows 7 on 30% of its 100,000 PCs in the past nine months with a 95% user satisfaction rating. It has published a paper: Best Practices for Migrating a Large Enterprise to Microsoft Windows 7 (PDF).
Intel estimated that by migrating to Windows 7, it would save $11 million over three years, mainly in support costs, while getting "measurable productivity gains" and "a marked performance improvement".
Microsoft's Rich Reynolds said that, based on studies of total cost of ownership [TCO] with Baker Tilly, BAA and other organisations, "on average they're saying they can save about $140 per PC per year in TCO" by moving to Windows 7.
On NetMarketShare's numbers, Windows 7 has 18.33% of the market, ahead of Vista (12.93%) but a long way behind Windows XP (58.92%). However, companies should find it relatively easy to flip Vista PCs to Windows 7, which would bump it up to 31%. If companies switch 1% of their PCs from XP to Windows 7 each month, Windows 7 could be the market leader by the end of next year.
There will clearly be some companies using XP for a very long time, just as some are still using Windows 2000 and even NT4. But for the majority, it's on the way out.