Windows 7 on almost half of PCs by end of 2011

Microsoft's latest OS will be found on 42 per cent of PCs by year end.

Windows 7 logo

Windows 7 will feature on almost half of the PCs used around the world by the end of the year, according to the latest research from Gartner.

Some 42 per cent of machines will be running Microsoft's latest operating system in the near future, as budget improvements free up money for business upgrades.

The analyst firm has predicted that 94 per cent of new PCs in 2011 will ship with Windows 7 pre-installed.

"Steady improvements in IT budgets in 2010 and 2011 are helping to accelerate the deployment of Windows 7 in enterprise markets in the US and Asia/Pacific, where Windows 7 migrations started in large volume from 4Q10," said Annette Jump, Gartner's research director.

"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."

Gartner's forecast also indicates this will be the last version of the Microsoft OS deployed en masse through corporate-wide migrations. In the future - certainly in the next five years - it suggests many will look to alternative methods, including cloud computing.

"By the end of 2011, nearly 635 million new PCs worldwide are expected to be shipped with Windows 7. Many enterprises have been planning their deployment of Windows 7 for the last 12 to 18 months, and are now moving rapidly to Windows 7," Jump added.

Gartner's market statistics also looked at other operating systems and machine types. It showed the total number of new computers shipped with Mac OS stood at four per cent. This figure is expected to grow by 0.5 per cent this year and will reach 5.2 per cent by 2015.

Open source will continue in niche operation, with Linux OS' share likely to remain at less than two per cent over the next five years.

Meanwhile, Android, Chrome OS and webOS aren't expected to gain much traction on PCs for while yet, according to Gartner.

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