"It's considered a premium device, but when other companies have tried to duplicate the hardware, they've had a hard time matching the MacBook Air's price," said Gillett.
IT decision makers surveyed by Forrester forecast a 52 percent increase in the number of Macs they will issue to workers in 2012 over the previous year. In 2011, nearly half -- 46 percent -- of the companies polled said they already offer employees a Mac as an option to the usual Windows PC.
While the Macs actually handed out to employees last year accounted for only 7 percent of all computers -- the same single-digit range as the Mac's worldwide usage share of 6.4 percent as measured last month by metrics company Net Applications -- Gillett was bullish on Mac OS X's future.
"You cannot underestimate the MacBook Air's impact," he said. "It's why Mac use has really surged among workers in the last couple of years."
But is saying that, "Windows' dominance is at an end" -- as Gillett stated in his report -- going too far?
He doesn't think so.
"I'm very confident that the lock Microsoft and Windows has had is gone," Gillett said.
Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld. Follow Gregg on Twitter at @gkeizer, on Google+, or subscribe to Gregg's RSS feed. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org. See more articles by Gregg Keizer.
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