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Windows 7 at a Year

Microsoft has shipped 240 million copies of Windows 7, and businesses are heavily engaged in migrations.

One year after formally releasing its Windows 7 desktop OS, Microsoft is making note that adoption among enterprises is exceeding expectations.

Microsoft recently disclosed it has shipped 240 million copies of Windows 7, accounting for approximately 20 percent of all 1.2 billion Windows PCs now in use. Windows 7 hit its one-year anniversary on Oct. 22.

"We've seen many customers around the world move very rapidly to deploy Windows 7 in their environment," said Rich Reynolds, Microsoft general manager of Windows Commercial Marketing, in a post on the company's Windows for Your Business blog.

"Other customers are eagerly seeking to identify best practices as they embark upon their evaluation, planning and roll-out."

In an interview, IDC analyst Al Gillen says many enterprises have already begun Windows 7 migrations -- and those that haven't, will. "Ninety percent of customers have plans in some way, shape or form to be moving toward Windows 7," Gillen says.

That figure is echoed by Forrester Research Inc., which recently released a report focused on Windows 7 commercial adoption. Only 7 percent of those surveyed by Forrester a year ago said they planned to deploy Windows 7 this year, yet 46 percent actually said they've begun or will begin deployments.

An additional 42 percent plan to deploy Windows 7 in more than 12 months, while 1 percent are considering alternatives such as Windows 8, Macintosh systems and PCs running Linux desktop distributions.

For now, Windows 7 accounts for 10 percent of all commercial desktops, the report noted. The large majority, 75 percent, still run Windows XP, while 7 percent are running Windows Vista. The findings are based on a survey of 774 decisions makers in enterprises in North America and Europe.

Enterprise-wide deployments will likely take years, the study found. Forty percent said they'll upgrade PCs as they reach the end of life, while 39 percent are planning enterprise-wide migrations to avoid supporting two OSes.

About the Author

Jeffrey Schwartz is editor of Redmond magazine and also covers cloud computing for Virtualization Review's Cloud Report. In addition, he writes the Channeling the Cloud column for Redmond Channel Partner. Follow him on Twitter @JeffreySchwartz.