Yes, for the first time ever, Android has bested Microsoft Windows as the world’s most popular operating system, according to fresh findings from Web analytics firm StatCounter.
“It marks the end of Microsoft’s leadership worldwide of the OS market which it has held since the 1980s,” Aodhan Cullen, CEO of StatCounter, notes in the new report. Of course, “It also represents a major breakthrough for Android, which held just 2.4% of global internet usage share only five years ago,” Cullen adds.
Considering the shift, Cullen credits the growth of smartphones, faster wireless Web speeds, a decline in sales of traditional PCs, and the impact of Asia on the global market.
In March, Android topped the worldwide OS Internet usage market share with 37.93%, which put it marginally ahead of Windows (37.91%) for the first time.
To its credit, Windows still dominates the worldwide operating system desktop market -- PCs and laptops, this is -- with an 84% Web usage share in March. Moving forward, Cullen suggests: “It will be difficult for Microsoft to make inroads in mobile, but the next paradigm shift might give it the opportunity to regain dominance.”
“That could be in Augmented Reality, AI, Voice or Continuum (a product that aims to replace a desktop and smartphone with a single Microsoft-powered phone),” Cullen imagines.
In North America, Windows (all versions) maintained its lead across all platforms with 39.5% share, in March -- followed by iOS (25.7%) and Android (21.2%). For its rankings, StatCounter measures total Web usage across desktop, laptop, tablet and mobile combined.
This column was previously published in Moblog on April 3, 2017.