Windows 7 will be the dominant operating system by the end of 2011 according to some unsurprising research carried out by crystal-ball gazers at Gartner.
The company is predicting that 42 per cent of computer users will be tied to Microsoft's current OS by the end of the year saying that 94 per cent of all boxes shipped in 2011 come with the system 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," reckoned Annette Jump, research director at Gartner. "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."
According to the forecast, Windows 7 will be the last full-fat OS deployed by enterprise and that many will move to 'thin client' cloud-based virtualisations, which see huge server farms doing the number crunching and pushing that information to dumb terminals, in the next five years.
Apple is also expected to continue its steady climb growing from 3.3 per cent of market share in 2008 to 4.5 per cent in 2011.
"The adoption of Mac PCs and Mac OS is a result of Apple's ability to grow well above the market average in the last 12 to 24 months, thanks to its ease of use from the user interface point of view and ease of integration with other Apple devices, such as the iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and the existing Apple ecosystem of applications and programs," Jump said.
The company said it did not expect Chrome OS, Android or webOS to make a significant impact on Microsoft's virtual monopoly and dismissed Linux as too 'niche' to bother the Redmond Massive in any palpable way.