updated 10:00 am EDT, Tue August 9, 2011
Gartner forecasts Windows 7 and Mac share
Windows 7 will have made it to 42 percent of PCs in the last year before it's replaced, Gartner said in a new estimate. It expects the Microsoft OS to get 42 percent in 2011, just a few months before Windows 8 is ready. The lift would come mostly from businesses with more cash to spend on upgrades, not home users.
About 94 percent of all computers this year, or 635 million systems, will have the new OS, the analyst group's research director Annette Jump predicted. Slowdowns might come from both the Japanese earthquake as well as a tide of North African and Middle Eastern revolutions.
The Mac in the meantime would still make rapid strides relative to its size. Apple is expected to grow from four percent share in 2010 to 4.5 percent by the end of the year, a 12.5 percent lift. It was expanding at a rate "well above" the market, although Gartner was conservative and only saw it having 5.2 percent by 2015. Apple's fastest growth would not only come from its core bases in North America and Europe but in some developing countries, where the Mac was starting relatively from scratch.
Other platforms weren't poised to get any traction. Google's Android and Chrome OS weren't due to get "any significant market share" within the next few years as they wouldn't have any appeal from an alternative platform, such as tablets. WebOS, in spite of HP's size as a PC builder, also wouldn't get ground unless the TouchPad took off. Any of these platforms would lose out on app compatibility.
Linux was expected to stay trapped in its perpetual niche role for at least the next five years at under one percent. It had briefly had success in the very earliest days of netbooks but has settled back into its previously quiet position in the market.