Microsoft has been open in its ambition to make Windows 10 the most widely adopted operating system it has produced and the prospects for the software in the business space are improving as more firms migrate from older versions.
Most of the channel had already penciled in next year as the period that it should feel the benefits of Windows 10 but the vendor has been vocal in claiming that already developers have seen higher revenues because of the popularity of its app store.
earlier this month
John O'Callaghan, EMEA OEM director at Microsoft, said that the OS was now installed on 120m devices and 8m business PCs had also been shipped with the software already included.
He highlighted the potential rewards for those developers that had already chosen to engage with the platform, pointing out that the Windows store had been incredibly popular with users.
"We now have more traffic coming to the Windows store than ever before. For the developers it is creating a great opportunity and we are seeing six times more downloads than we did with Windows 8 and developers are making four times more revenue through the Windows 10 platform than they did with Windows 8," he said earlier this month.
Gartner has now added its weight to the view that the enterprise market is going to be a fertile one for Windows 10, which should be welcome news for resellers pitching a range of hardware and software services.
is expecting the OS will be adopted more widely than the last hit that came out of the Microsoft production, which was Windows 7, before the woes of the missing start button mired Windows 8 in problems.
"In the consumer market, a free upgrade coupled with broad legacy device support and automatic over-the-air upgrades ensures that there will be tens of millions of users familiar with the operating system (OS) before the end of 2015," said Steve Kleynhans, research vice president at Gartner. "For enterprises, we expect that implementation will be significantly more rapid than that seen with Windows 7 six years ago."
The analyst house fingered several factors that were driving adoption, including the ever closer deadline for the end of
Windows 7 in January 2020 and the compatibility between Win 10 and 7 applications.
As a result Gartner is expecting the first half of next year will be a time for corporates to try pilots of Windows 10 with momentum gathering around more deployments in the back end of 2016.
Ther analyst house is forecasting that at least half of enterprises will have started some production deployments by the beginning of 2017 as they look to complete migrations by 2019, ahead of Windows 7 support termination in 2020.
According to the latest numbers from analytics firm GoSquared Windows 10 represents around 10% of total global Windows traffic, underlining the large number of users that are yet to make the transition to the OS.
Adrian Foxall, CEO of Camwood, is already encouraging customers to think about moving off Windows 7 in a planned and unhurried migration before the support runs down.
“The announcement that Microsoft will be stopping pre-install sales of Windows 7 signifies the very first step in yet another long, and potentially painful, OS migration for businesses all around the world. While Microsoft remains reasonably coy about the total number of Windows 7 licenses sold, we do know that 53% of all desktop traffic is now being accessed via a Windows 7 device. This figure has grown substantially amongst the business community, with the vast majority of organisations switching to Windows 7 after the end of support for Windows XP," he said.
“But while the end of pre-install sales may signify the initial starting pistol in the race towards Windows 10, there is still a significant way to go before the official end of support on 14th January 2020," he added "“Businesses should not be looking to undertake some mad rush to abandon their existing IT systems. Instead, they should be using this announcement as an opportunity to get their application estates in order and to start thinking about how to plan and build an appropriate long-term migration strategy."