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While a recent survey of businesses indicates that the majority intend to skip
the upgrade to Microsoft Windows 7
, market analyst firm IDC
is still forecasting a brisk uptake of the operating system benefiting IT
employment and jobs in addition to several other technology areas.

Microsoft’s new operating system Windows 7 is the software giant’s follow-on to
the Vista operating system, widely
viewed as a big flop among business customers
. Indeed, many companies
have put
off any PC refreshes for up to five years now
.

But Microsoft Windows 7 could change all that, IDC
says in a new report looking at the potential for Windows 7, and sponsored by
Microsoft.

“For Microsoft, the launch of Windows 7 suggests strong growth in client
operating systems again,” IDC says in its
report. “But the impact of Windows 7 will reach far beyond Microsoft, driving
revenues and growth for many of the IT companies worldwide that sell hardware,
write software, provide IT services or serve as IT distribution channels. This
growth will do its bit to help economies around the world climb out of the
current economic crisis.”

The new IDC research shows that by the end
of 2010 more than 7 million people worldwide will be working with Windows 7—19
percent of the global IT work force. And for every dollar of Microsoft revenue
from Windows 7 from the launch date in October this year until the end of 2010,
the Microsoft ecosystem beyond Microsoft will reap $18.52, says IDC.

IDC is forecasting Windows 7 shipments of
177 million units by the end of 2010. Forty million of those sales will be in
2009, says IDC.

“Windows 7 will be shipping into a relatively harsh environment,” the firm
says. “But the launch of a new and better operating system will necessitate new
applications, new hardware, new planning, deployment and training, and new
services. These will drive much-needed investment that will, in turn, fuel
stronger growth in subsequent years.”