Gartner whinges about the death of Windows

Microsoft will be hoping Gartner’s predictions for Windows as its last major corporate-wide migration are wide of the mark, as it continues to fall flat with its mobile OS.

The good news from Gartner is that by the end of this year Windows 7 will become the leading OS in the PC installed base with 42 percent.  And analysts reckon that 94 percent of new PCs will ship with Microsoft’s current offering.

This will be buoyed by improvements to IT budgets meaning that companies can finally drum up enough cash to move to the new OS.

Of course, with forecasts of impending economic doom coming from all quarters of the world, this could slow down uptake.  So we wouldn’t be surprised to see firms selling their PCs for firewood rather than looking to update to a fancy OS.

More annoyingly for Microsoft, Gartner has stated its belief that Window 7 will be the last time there is a large migration on a corporate scale to Windows.  Analysts bizarrely think that with competitors like Mac OS and Chrome OS growing in stature, the company could be a little bit buggered, though Gartner quotes figures which don’t exactly add weight to the argument.

Mac OS was shipped on 4 percent of PCs worldwide last year, compared to 3.3 percent in 2008, with this figure set to grow to 4.5 percent this year.  This will reach 5.2 percent in 2015 as Apple continues to grow above average, thanks in part to the famous Apple ecosystem. Not exactly phenomenal growth.

Chrome, Android and webOS are not expected to gain a lot of ground in the PC market in the near future, with a strong position in mobile computing required before they can make the jump.  Indeed it is unlikely even then that such operating systems would be able to encroach on the position of Microsoft in the workplace, not least because of compatibility issues.

Linux meanwhile is expected to remain niche over the coming years, remaining at under two percent of the corporate market due to high migration costs.

The increase in popularity of virtualisation and cloud computing is set to continue, and it is thought that this could hurt large scale roll outs of Windows.

So with such a damning view by Gartner of this being the last time Windows will be used on corporate PCs, could this spell disaster for Microsoft?

Well, not really.

Barry Angell, software migration expert at Juriba, reckons that Gartner is “too early in writing off future Windows OS migrations” in the corporate sphere. In fact he believes that it is “highly likely” that Windows 7 will not in fact be the last major OS migration.

He believes that many enterprises are only just starting to plan for this new migration, and though IT budgets might have increased a little, we will still see migrations running through 2015.

And Microsoft will hope he is right. 

With some saying that the PCs will soon be found in the bargain bin among the Nintendo 3DSand Cher Lloyd CDs, they might be a bit concerned about the foray into mobile OS territory.

Another Gartner report has shown that Windows Phone 7 has been struggling again, as SeattlePi points out.

With a none too impressive 1.6 percent of new smartphones sold during the second quarter of the year, Microsoft is looking ever more out of touch. This is compared with a 4.9 percent share of the market last year, as it moved from Windows Phone 6.5 to 7.

In fact it has fallen behind in the rankings to Bada. Bada?  Yeah, that’s the Samsung developed OS which is doing even better these days.

With Android and iOS making further gains, it seems that Microsoft will be counting down the days to the start of its partnership with Nokia almost as much as the ailing manufacturer is itself.

It will be pinning its hopes for the future on the consumer and cloud driven Windows 8 – with support from both Intel and ARM – which its partners claim to be very, very excited about.