Android smashes Windows and the rest is history

3 Apr 2017

Image: W Scott McGill/Shutterstock

Android overtakes Windows as the world’s biggest OS.

Google’s Android has overtaken Microsoft Windows as the world’s most used operating system across desktop, tablet and mobile combined.

Irish web analytics company StatCounter has revealed that, when it comes to worldwide operating system market share on the internet, Android has 37.93pc, slightly above Windows (37.91pc) for the first time.

‘This is a milestone in technology history, and the end of an era’

This is a significant development when you consider Microsoft has dominated the OS world for more than 30 years.

“This is a milestone in technology history, and the end of an era,” commented Aodhan Cullen, CEO, 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 2.4pc of global internet usage share only five years ago.”

The march of the Androids

StatCounter stats graph, showing Android overtaking Windows

Android has just swept past Windows for the first time in the history of software. Image: StatCounter

Cullen said that the main drivers of this breakthrough were growth of smartphones to access the internet, a decline in sales of traditional PCs, and the impact of Asia on the global market.

However, Windows still dominates the worldwide operating system desktop market (PC and laptop) with an 84pc 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.

Graph shows Windows’ dominance in the PC market

Windows still dominates the desktop world. Image: StatCounter

“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 maintained its lead across all platforms, with a 39.5pc share in March. It was followed by iOS (25.7pc) and Android (21.2pc).

It is a similar story in Europe, where Windows (51.7pc) remains at more than twice the level of Android (23.6pc). However, in Asia, Android is on 52.2pc compared to Windows’ 29.2pc.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years