Android is now the most popular operating system in the world, knocking Windows off the top spot for the first time in decades. There are some caveats to consider here, but Android is on the way up, passing Windows on the way down. And that has to be a cause for concern for Microsoft.
Windows was, at one time, it. The be-all and end-all. This was back when smartphones and tablets were a science fiction fantasy, and we were all sitting bolt upright at our desks tapping away on keyboards. Now, things are a little different. And Android is the big kahuna of operating systems.
Android Overtakes Windows
According to StatCounter, Android is now “the world’s most popular operating system (OS) in terms of total internet usage across desktop, laptop, tablet and mobile combined”. This is because in March, Android reached a market share of 37.93%, just ahead of Windows on 37.91%.
To understand how quickly things have changed consider that, in 2012, Windows had a market share of over 80% while Android was bobbing along with a market share of less than 3%. As you can see by the numbers Windows actually lost more than Android gained in that time, making this feel more like Microsoft failing than Google winning.
Aodhan Cullen, the CEO of StatCounter, said, “This is a milestone in technology history and the end of an era. 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.”
What About Windows 10 Mobile?
It’s important to remember that this only takes internet usage into account, and Windows is capable of so much more. However, it’s an important metric, and Windows’ downward trajectory over the past five years must be a cause for concern at Microsoft headquarters.
The only way Microsoft could reverse this trend would be to get people using Windows on their smartphones. And that doesn’t look like it’ll be happening anytime soon. Windows 10 Mobile has a shockingly low market share, and it’s going to take a miracle for that to change.
Do you own an Android device? Do you own a Windows device? Which do you use more for browsing the web? Has your smartphone eroded your need to even own a PC? Could Windows ever claw its way back to the top spot? Please let us know in the comments below!
Image Credit: Jean-Etienne Minh-Duy Poirrier via Flickr