Google’s Android has overtaken Microsoft Windows for the first time as the world’s most popular operating system in terms of total internet usage across desktop, laptop, tablet and mobile combined. This according to web analytics company StatCounter, which recorded Android’s market share at 37.93% for March, marginally ahead of Windows’ 37.91%. It’s a small gap and only refers to Internet usage, but it’s a noteworthy achievement considering Windows has held the top spot since the 1980s.
Apple’s iOS came in third with 13.09%, followed by OS X with 5.17% and Linux with a measly 0.75%.
The bulk of Android's users came from Asia, where more than half of all Internet users used an Android device last month to connect to the Internet. Windows maintained its lead in the U.S. and Europe where it held 39.5% and 51.7% of the market, respectively. It’s also the clear leader for desktop operating systems with a 84% internet usage share in March, but as StatCounter says, “the battlefield has moved on.”
“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).”
StatCounter aggregated data collected from a sample exceeding 15 billion page views per month and more than three million websites. For some added context, StatCounter shared the chart above, highlighting the fact that Android held 2.4% of global internet usage share only five years ago.