Android Surpasses Windows Becoming World’s Most Popular Operating System

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Roughly a month ago, we reported that Android was well on its way to leapfrog Microsoft Windows to become the world’s most used operating system. In the past five years, Android has risen to stardom from minor-league roots in worldwide operating system market share while Windows at the same time has seen its share shrink in our increasingly mobile-centric society.

StatCounter is reporting that Android has now surpassed Windows in terms of “internet usage across desktop, laptop, tablet and mobile combined.” The difference between the two is razor slim, however, with Android and Windows holding global market share of 37.93 percent and 37.91 percent respectively.

“It marks the end of Microsoft’s leadership worldwide of the OS market which it has held since the 1980s,” said StatCounter CEO Aodhan Cullen. “It also represents a major breakthrough for Android which held just 2.4% of global internet usage share only five years ago.”

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StatCounter takes into account total internet usage globally, and doesn’t necessarily represent the actual number of users on each platform. StatCounter bases its findings by tracking 15 billion page views per month across over 3 million websites globally. “This means we have large enough sample sizes in the majority of countries to be confident that our stats are broadly representative of real world figures,” explains StatCounter.

It should come as no surprise that the meteoric consumer shift to smartphones is the driving force behind Windows’ decline. It should also be noted that Microsoft has not put up a strong enough showing in the mobile sector, with its Windows 10 Mobile platform floundering with a sub-1% market share for mobile operating systems.

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As a result, Android’s [mostly] open source nature, extreme flexibility, and ability to power millions of low-cost devices has given Google the ability to spread its wares throughout the tech industry in rapid fashion.

“Windows won the desktop war but the battlefield moved on,” added 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)."

It should be noted that Android gains in recent years have come mostly in Asia, where the operating system commands over 52 percent of the operating system market.

(Top Image Sourced From JD Hancock/Flickr)