While Windows has been the world's most popular operating system for decades, Android is finally emerging from its shadow -- and casting one of its own.
Move over, Windows. It’s now Android that has grasped the crown. As per a new report from StatCounter, the independent web analytics company, Android became the most popular operating system in the world when it came to total internet usage across desktop, laptop, tablet, and mobile combined in March. This marks the first time that Android has bested Microsoft Windows in this metric.
With a 37.93-percent market share, Android just eked out Windows, which still saw an impressive 37.91 percent of usage. Still, it’s a notable event. “This is a milestone in technology history and the end of an era,” commented Aodhan Cullen, CEO of StatCounter. “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 percent of global internet usage share only five years ago.”
So what gave? According to Cullen, it seems likely that the influx of smartphones and their internet capabilities helped catapult Android ahead. After all, Android is the undisputed leader in terms of mobile platforms. Moreover, traditional PCs (many of which run Windows) saw a decline in sales, though it’s worth pointing out that Windows is still the obvious leader when it comes to the worldwide operating system desktop market (PC and laptop) — it claimed an 84-percent internet usage share in March.
Certain regions of the world also contributed to Android’s victory last month — for example, while Windows was the most popular OS across all platforms in North America and Europe, the story was very different in Asia, where Android won a 52.2-percent market share, compared to just 29.2 percent for Windows.
“Windows won the desktop war but the battlefield moved on,” concluded 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).”