Only 75% of professional PCs will be on Windows 10 by 2021

The PC market is declining, while adoption of Windows 10 continues to lag, according to a Gartner report.

How do folding phones adapt to users, and vice versa? Oblong CEO John Underkoffler discusses the burgeoning folding phone trend, how users will take advantage of the form factor, and how cases would work on a folding phone.

Microsoft's push to get more businesses migrated to Windows 10 continues, as the company will end the extended support period for Windows 7 on January 14, 2020. Despite that, only 75% of professional PCs will be running Windows 10 by 2021, according to a Gartner market forecast published Monday.

Adoption of Windows 10 has lagged far behind Microsoft's expectation, with original projections of 1 billion installations "within two to three years" not met. Windows 10 overtook Windows 7 in terms of install size in January 2019, and only reached 800 million devices last month.

Presently, NetMarketShare figures overall Windows 10 update at 43.62%, though this represents all measured systems, not just those in corporate or enterprise deployment. "For businesses, the Windows 10 migration continues into the next phase. While the U.S. is now in the final phase, China having delayed their migration still has a few years to go," Gartner research director Ranjit Atwal said in a press release.

SEE: How to kill a project gracefully (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

Sales of PCs are not likely to buoy Windows 10 installations, as Gartner predicts that shipments will decrease by 2.5 million (0.6%) in 2019, as consumers are retiring PCs without purchasing replacements. "For the eighth consecutive year, the PC market is at a standstill," Atwal said in the release.

Folding phones aren't the panacea to what ails the mobile market

The mobile phone market is expected to return to growth in 2020, though Gartner predicts that consumers are holding on to existing phones longer, with the average lifetime of a high-end smartphone to increase from 2.6 years to 2.8 years through 2023.

Folding phones are met with polite skepticism, with Gartner predicting sales to account for 5% of the high-end smartphone market—about 30 million units—by 2023.

"We expect that users will use a foldable phone as they do their regular smartphone, picking it up hundreds of times a day, unfolding it sporadically and typing on its plastic screen, which may scratch quickly depending on the way it folds," Gartner research director Roberta Cozza said in the release. "Through the next five years, we expect foldable phones to remain a niche product due to several manufacturing challenges. In addition to the surface of the screen, the price is a barrier despite we expect to decline with time. Currently priced at $2,000, foldable phones present too many trade-offs, even for many early technology adopters."

For more, check out why foldable smartphones are more fad than forever devices, and Smartphone slowdown: Smaller phone brands getting shut out of the market, as well as TechRepublic's cheat sheet to the Samsung Galaxy Fold.

Also see

istock-918196374.jpg
Getty Images/iStockphoto

By James Sanders

James Sanders is a technology writer for TechRepublic. He covers future technology, including quantum computing, AI, and 5G, as well as cloud, security, open source, mobility, and the impact of globalization on the industry, with a focus on Asia.