The launch of Windows 10 is expected to be the biggest ever in terms of installation of the OS, according to a new report from the research firm Gartner.

The firm said that Microsoft's free Windows 10 upgrade offer for Windows 7 and 8.1 users means that a large number of people will be familiar with the OS by the end of 2015. It also predicts that about half of all enterprise customers would have at least started their upgrade to Windows 10 by January 2016. It added;

Several factors are driving migration, specifically awareness of the end of support for Windows 7 in January 2020, strong compatibility with Windows 7 applications and devices, and a pent-up demand for tablet and 2-in-1 device rollouts. The net result is that many enterprises are planning to begin pilots for Windows 10 in the first half of 2016, and to broaden their deployments in the latter part of the year. Gartner expects that at least half of enterprises will have started some production deployments by the beginning of 2017, with an eye to completing their migrations in 2019.

Gartner also predicts that other factors will help with Windows 10's growth, including their belief that over one-third of all notebooks will ship with touchscreens by 2018. Microsoft has already said their goal is to see Windows 10 installed on 1 billion devices by July 2018.

Source: Gartner