Growth in IT budgets this year is helping to fuel the growing adoption of Windows 7 in the enterprise, according to a new research report released this week.
Indeed, by year's end, some 42 percent of PCs worldwide will be running Windows 7, the report released Tuesday by analyst firm Gartner said.
"Steady improvements in IT budgets in 2010 and 2011 are helping to accelerate the deployment of Windows 7 in enterprise markets in the U.S. and Asia/Pacific, where Windows 7 migrations started in large volume from [the fourth quarter of 2010]," Annette Jump, research director at Gartner, said in a statement.
Much of that gain will come from the fact that, this year alone, 94 percent of new PCs globally will ship with Windows 7.
"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 said.
"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," she added.
Additionally, another important trend to watch for, the report said, is that Windows 7 will likely be the last release of a Microsoft operating system to be distributed via a large corporate deployment. In the future, PC client OS deployments are likely to be carried out using alternate client technologies and via virtualization and cloud computing in coming years.
Interestingly, Windows 7 begins its endgame for corporate desktops at almost the same time that Microsoft is preparing to begin beta testing its replacement -- Windows 8 -- which is expected to arrive in developers' hands as a technical preview in mid-September at the upcoming Build conference, and to begin public beta testing early next year.