MS Is Still Ruling The Desktop: 42% Of Machines Will Run Windows 7 In 2011

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Windows 7 is now the most prevalent – if not most popular – desktop OS with Gartner estimating that 42% of current PCs will run the OS while 94% of new machines will run Win7.

In comparison, OS X got 4% of the pie while Linux is firmly at 2%. Even IT departments are starting massive roll-outs of Win7 to their desktops, a move that has pushed the fairly new OS into the catbird seat. However, Gartner expects this to be the last time a standalone OS image is installed on business PCs as IT departments move towards hosted computing and virtualization.

Not everything is sunshine and roses, however:

“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 4Q10,” said 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.”

You can check out the report here if you’re a subscriber but generally Windows is still strong even in the face of OS X and mobile popularity.

The most interesting statistic I think will be how fast Chrome OS overtakes Windows in the low end of the PC/laptop world. I also wonder how much WinXP is still floating around out there, let alone how many WinCE and NT implementations still exist.