Beancounters at IDC have had a rush of blood to the head and are convinced that Windows 7 will be the last full upgrade of the Windows client environment ever.
It seems that IDC actually believes the line that the desktop PC is on its way out in favour of more cloudy ideas.
Al Gillen, who helped co-author a list of year-end predictions from IDC, said Windows 7 represents a really important demarcation line in the evolution of client devices.
It is going to be ‘the last really big refresh, in-mass, of the Windows client environment as we have known it for the last decade’.
Gillen thinks that the Windows 7 adoption and replacement cycle will go on for the next five to seven years.
However during those years the industry is going to be turned on its head. So by the time Windows 8 appears the world will be lot less centralized around the PC than it is today.
But Gillen also thinks Windows 7 will be a huge success for Microsoft. However, it is going to be hugely successful in a market space where the customer preferences are going to move away from that model totally.
Gillen predicts the rise of virtualized and cloud-based software and ‘in the process, help break the dependency on fat clients and full local processing.’
Observers will note that for the last 12 years people have been predicting dumber computers, virtualised environments and the cloud in various guises but it never seems to happen.
It is a bit like communism, it is a nice idea in principle but, as Frank Zappa pointed out, it could never actually work in practice because people really like to own stuff.