Android operating system closes in on Windows for top spot
Google’s mobile OS growing in popularity as more people use smartphones to go online
In mainland Europe, Windows has more than twice the market share as Android but that situation is almost reversed in Asia
Microsoft’s Windows is in danger of being usurped as the world’s most popular operating system by Google’s Android.
While Windows remains the leading operating system globally thanks to its continued presence on desktop PCs and laptops, it is increasingly being overshadowed by Google’s mobile OS, a move described as “unthinkable five years ago”.
New data from webs analytics firm StatCounter shows Android’s global market share hit 37.4 per cent last month, just behind Windows on 38.6 per cent.
Android was launched in September 2008 and it now has the largest installed base of all operating systems. However, just five years ago, in early 2012, Windows had a 82 per cent global internet usage share compared to just 2.2 per cent for Android.
Aodhan Cullen, chief executive of StatCounter, said the growth in popularity of smartphones, as well as a corresponding slowdown in sales of PCs, and the rising impact of Asia on internet usage figures were behind the rise of Android.
In mainland Europe, Windows has more than twice the market share as Android but that situation is almost reversed in Asia.
Microsoft’s Windows still dominates the worldwide operating system desktop market (PC and laptop) with an 84.1 per cent internet usage share in February, the figures show.
“Windows has won the desktop war but the battlefield has moved on,” said Mr Cullen, citing recent figures that show internet usage by mobile and tablet devices exceeding desktop and laptop worldwide last October.
In North America, Windows maintained its lead across all platforms last month with a 40.7 per cent share, followed by Apple’s iOS on 24.9 per cent and Android on 20.3 per cent.
In Ireland, Windows is on 40 per cent, followed by Android on 25.6 per cent and iOS on 24 per cent.
StatCounter’s data is based on over 15 billion page views a month to over 2.5 million websites.