By March 2011 end, Windows 7 was powering 20.9% of corporate deskops, while Windows XP was on 60% of business PCs -- down from 69% a year ago, according to a new Forrester Research report entitled "Corporate Desktop Operating System And Browser Trends, Q2 2010 To Q2 2011".
The June 16 report include results from Forrester's analysis of over 400,000 client PCs at 2,500 companies -- and 12 months of data collected between the start of the second calendar quarter of 2010 through the end of the Q1 of 2011.
On brand-new PCs being deployed by businesses, Windows 7 usage is even higher (at 31%). Forrester is predicting that number (Windows 7 deployment on brand new business PCs) will hit 83% within a year.
Adding to the Windows 7 upgrade pace is the fact that Windows Vista is on its way out, the researchers said. "Vista adoption peaked at nearly 14% in Nov '09, and its share has since shrunk in half as firms upgrade their employees to Windows 7 Service Pack 1 (SP1)."
Windows XP share was also down among business users over the past year, Forrester noted, declining 9 points, to 60%. But XP still remains, by a long shot, the "most widely deployed desktop OS" among those surveyed.
In the browser segment, overall Internet Explorer usage declined over the past year, as users abandoned IE6 for Firefox, Chrome and IE8, Forrester report. IE 9 adoption didn't figure into this report, as the final version of IE9 wasn't released until mid-March 2011.
Per the report:
Overall IE use is slowly eroding as firms replace legacy Windows XP systems with IE6. In fact, through March 2011, IE use declined to 58.7%. As firms deploy Windows 7, I&O managers need to ensure that their web applications are compatible with IE8.
Chrome is gaining wide acceptance among enterprise users, reaching 14% share among those surveyed by Forrester by the end of Q1'11.
Firefox usage was nearly 18% by the end of March among the surveyed base, a solid number that Forrester researchers attributed to Firefox's firm entrenchment within many businesses "thanks to the proliferation of add-ons that simplify and automate everyday tasks."