Android Beats Microsoft As Most Popular Operating System

A recent report from StatCounter has indicated that Google Android is now the worlds most popular operating system in terms of internet usage, beating Microsoft Windows for the first time ever. The data, which was released on Monday of this week, looked at total internet usage across all devices and put Androids market share at 37.93%, slightly ahead of Windows at 37.91%

The biggest reason for the power shift is the growth in browsing on smartphones, Microsoft still lead the way in desktop share by a considerable amount but the world is moving to mobile. Google Chrome has led the pack for the past 90 days in terms of general browser use and is the most popular browser by quite some distance.

It will be a huge challenge for Microsoft to try and wrestle back market share but they may well try with Continuum, a product that aims to replace a desktop and smartphone with a single device. Microsoft describe Continuum as ‘a PC like experience, powered by your phone’ however so far there are significant limitations – only one full screen app can be used at a time, legacy Windows apps won’t run on existing handsets and even Universal Windows Platform apps need to explicitly support Continuum. Various improvements are expected with Windows 10 Creators Update so it’s very much ‘watch and wait’ for Continuum.

However, the StatCounter data could mean that the stage is set for Android to be the Operating System of choice for the crossover mobile/desktop experience. Samsung have recently announced its DeX platform along with the launch of the Galaxy S8. The platform has a dock connected to a keyboard, mouse and monitor. When you dock the Galaxy S8 or S8plus the processor is powerful enough to give desktop like performance. This certainly looks like the smoothest and most powerful implementation of the desktop/mobile crossover to date.

Another idea that the data brings back to the forefront is the concept of a Chrome OS merger with Android, as Google recently allowed Chromebooks the ability to download Android apps. However, it might be argued by some that this might not be the best thing for the Chrome OS ecosystem.

One thing is for certain: No matter which operating system is involved the future of smartphones looks likely to have a significant impact on the future of the desktop computer.

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