Android Beats Windows To Become Most Used Operating System
MobileNews April 4, 2017 Euan Viveash
Android has nudged ahead to become the world’s most popular OS.
OK, so it might have only squeaked ahead by just 0.02%, but Android usage has beaten all other combined versions of Microsoft’s Windows into second place, for the first time. That is, at least according to Irish analytics firm StatCounter.
Since Windows was released some 30 years ago, back in the 20th Century, when the Cold War was still going on, and Google wouldn’t exist for the next 20 years, Windows has long been the dominant force when it comes to operating systems. But last month, for the first time, the Android OS, responsible for running on around four out of every five smartphones, pipped Microsoft by a fraction of a percent to become the world’s preferred way to browse the internet.
StatCounter found that in terms of overall Internet usage across all platforms (desktop, laptop, tablet and mobile) Android has a 37.93% share of the market, while Windows had dropped 0.02% to 37.91%.
It is a ridiculously small margin, and in any other situation probably wouldn’t even be newsworthy. There’s every chance as well, that next month it could flip back the other way. But it does marks a historic moment, regardless of what the figures might show next month. No other operating system has ever been able to knock Windows off its perch since the advent of the current internet age.
The news is also nothing of a surprise in real terms. It’s not been a question of ‘if’ Android would become the world’s most popular OS, but ‘when’ the switch would happen, for quite some time. More than a billion Android devices are currently being sold every year, versus less than 300 million Windows devices. StatCounter’s stats don’t show the full story, however.
Windows is still the only real player in PC based operating systems, and absolutely dominates in professional and business related arenas. Microsoft have also made significant moves in the last few years to invest more in their enterprise and business core markets, moving away from consumer and hardware for the masses. In recent times, Microsoft have killed their Windows phone business, and in October of last year, seem to have withdrawn from the wearables market by stopping work on their Band 3. It’s all a bit like comparing oranges and apples.
StatCounter draws its data is drawn from web trackers installed on 2.5 million websites. Last year it was the main source of citation for tracking Google Chrome edging ahead of Internet Explorer in usage terms.