Despite widespread belief that Windows XP will continue to thrive in the business environment, one analyst believes that actually XP is very close to the end of its life in enterprise.

While this will not happen overnight, Forrester analyst Benjamin Gray believes there are enough reasons for IT managers to "shake the status quo, and finally end Windows XP's corporate reign".

XP, now an eight-year-old OS, "has delivered the compatibility, security, and reliability that firms had hoped for and to this day remains the desktop standard for most businesses and government agencies", Gray says.

Windows 7 review

Indeed, Windows XP still powers almost 80 percent of commercial PCs, according to a survey of 665 IT decision-makers that was part of a Forrester report entitled ‘Windows 7 Commercial Adoption Outlook'.

Nevertheless, many factors point to XP's demise.

Two-thirds (66 percent) of the 655 surveyed IT decision-makers from North American and European enterprises and SMBs are planning to migrate to Windows 7 eventually, although most don't have firm plans yet.

Additionally, the research shows that 51 percent of respondents plan to have Windows 7 as the primary OS on their PCs within 12 months. Forrester also urges that companies should prepare for employee requests for Windows 7 as it becomes more popular with consumers.

Small business IT advice

Laptop buying advice

See all laptop reviews

NEXT PAGE: We look at the factors that are losening XP's grip

  1. The OS is losing its grip in business
  2. We look at the factors that are losening XP's grip