Half of all organisations will have commenced their Windows 10 rollout by January 2017, putting it on track to be the most widely installed version of Windows ever, according to Gartner.
The analyst group pointed to several factors that are driving faster adoption of Windows 10 for business: the end of support for Windows 7 in January 2020; good compatibility with existing Windows 7 applications and devices; and a pent-up demand for tablet and 2-in-1 device rollouts.
"For businesses, we expect that implementation will be significantly more rapid than that seen with Windows 7 six years ago," said Steve Kleynhans, research vice president at Gartner.
Gartner said many organisations are planning to begin pilots for Windows 10 in the first half of 2016, and will broaden their deployments later in the year. It expects that at least half of organisations will have started some production deployments by the beginning of 2017, with an eye to completing their migrations in 2019.
Early data certainly suggests that Windows 10 has been outpacing Windows 8 and Windows 7, although there is of course one huge difference: Windows 10 is a free download for many consumers, which will supercharge adoption, although the initial rapid rate of switching may slow.
"In the consumer market, a free upgrade coupled with broad legacy device support and automatic over-the-air upgrades ensures that there will be tens of millions of users familiar with the operating system before the end of 2015," said Kleynhans.
Gartner also predicted that by 2018, touchscreens will be shipped on one-third of all notebooks, especially as consumers and businesses move to Windows 10.
More business applications will be delivered remotely from the cloud, said Ken Dulaney, vice-president and distinguished analyst at Gartner: "From an IT perspective, Windows 10 and the move of applications to the back end will dramatically change how those applications are delivered to employees. Updates will be more frequent, more incremental and less obvious to the end user. Software vendors and internal IT have much to do to adapt to this new model and to move away from the image management model for PCs of today."