I've said more than once here that maturing Web-based operating systems will gradually replace the operating system as we now know it. As more users migrate to tools like Google Apps, G.ho.st and Glide, many observers say we won't need client operating systems anymore.
But a new study from Gartner cautions against counting the traditional OS out too soon. IT Jungle's Timothy Prickett Morgan writes:
Gartner reckons that between 2007 and 2012, the operating systems market will grow by a compound annual growth rate of 6.8 percent, pushing sales to $37.5 billion by 2012 -- nearly 40 percent more money than operating system makers brought in during 2007. This sure doesn't sound like a market in decline, and it just goes to show you that data centers, corporate desktops, and consumers are still buying lots of computers.
The study also reveals that Linux is the fastest growing OS on the server side, and predicts the "end of the line" for Windows XP will improve Windows Vista's standing.
Morgan is quick to point out, though, that continued growth in the space doesn't mean there won't be disruptions. Those, he said, exist already -- in the form of software-as-a-service, multi-core processors and virtualization hypervisors, just to name a few.