Android For the First Time Overtakes Windows as Most Popular Operating System for Internet Usage

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Google’s Android has overtaken Microsoft Windows for the first time as the world’s most popular operating system (OS) in terms of total internet usage across desktop, laptop, tablet and mobile combined, according to the latest research done by an independent web analytics firm StatCounter.

“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 2.4% of global internet usage share only five years ago.”

The research arm of StatCounter finds that in March, Android topped the worldwide Operating System internet usage market share with 37.93%, which puts it marginally ahead of Windows (37.91%) for the first time.

Android topped the worldwide OS internet usage market share with 37.93%, which puts it marginally ahead of Windows (37.91%) for the first time. Image Credit: StatCounter
Android topped the worldwide OS internet usage market share with 37.93%, which puts it marginally ahead of Windows (37.91%) for the first time. Image Credit: StatCounter

Cullen said that main drivers of the 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 a 84% internet usage share in March.

Operating System Market Share Worldwide carried out in March 2017. Image Credit: StatCounte.
Operating System Market Share Worldwide carried out in March 2017. Image Credit: StatCounte

“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. 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 (all versions) maintained its lead across all platforms with 39.5% share in March followed by iOS (25.7%) and Android (21.2%). It’s a similar story in Europe where Windows (51.7%) is more than twice the level of Android (23.6%). However, in Asia, Android is on 52.2% compared to 29.2% for Windows.

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