The inevitable has finally happened as the most popular smartphone operating system, Android has outpaced the PC giant, Microsoft Windows. According to Statcounter’s latest report that tracks the combined share of usage across desktop, laptop, tablet and smartphone, Windows currently stands at 37.91% and by an infinitesimal percentage, Android leads at 37.93%.
“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 statistic takes into account only the internet-connected devices, hence it doesn’t include a small number of desktops that are primarily employed for a particular operation in industries. The turning point was outlined last month in February. Of course, Windows still is indomitable when it comes to the PC market standing tall at a whopping 84%. Moreover, the report mentions that Windows still has the upper hand when it comes to regions such as Europe and North America. Thanks to Google’s recent push into emerging sectors, Android is significantly more popular in Asia, an area where cheap computers are still a myth.
Another crucial factor behind this is the effective rise of Chromebooks in the educational industry. Microsoft has been rumored to launch a much lighter version of Windows 10, however, it is yet to hit the public limelight. The Smartphone has been consistently touted as the ultimate computing device of the future and with these numbers, it’s clear we’re not far from a stage where mobile devices will predominantly rule the oligarchy.
“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).”