For the first time ever Google’s Android has overtaken Microsoft’s Windows as as the world’s most popular operating system (OS) in terms of total internet usage across desktop, laptop, tablet and mobile combined. This is according to the research arm of StatCounter, the independent web analytics company, who announced that in March 2017 Android top the worldwide OS internet usage market share with 37.93%, which puts it marginally ahead of Windows (37.91%) for the first time.
Aodhan Cullen, CEO, StatCounter said that “This is a milestone in technology history and the end of an era,” commented. “It marks the end of Microsoft’s leadership worldwide of the OS market which it has held since the 1980s. It also represents a major breakthrough for Android which held just 2.4% of global internet usage share only five years ago.”
The changing of the guard was driven by a number of factors according to Cullen. The growth of smartphones to access the internet, a decline in sales of traditional PCs and the impact of Asia on the global market all had a significant impact.
Despite this change Windows is still the dominate force in the worldwide operating system desktop market (PC and laptop) with a 84% internet usage share in March.
“Windows won the desktop war but the battlefield moved on,” said Cullen. “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).”
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%). It’s a similar story in Europe where Windows (51.7%) is more than twice the level of Android (23.6%). However, in Asia, Android is on 52.2% compared to 29.2% for Windows.