Report Shows Android Threatening Windows for Most Popular OS

StatCounter published new research that shows the Android is challenging Windows as the most popular OS used to access the Internet around the world.

Citing research that tracks five years of OS usage trends, the Web analytics company said Windows garnered 38.6 percent of global market share last month, with Android closing in fast at 37.4 percent. Those numbers reflect total Internet usage across desktop, laptop, tablet and mobile.

"The idea of Android almost matching Windows would have been unthinkable five years ago," said company CEO Aodhan Cullen in a statement yesterday. "In January 2012 Windows held 82 percent global Internet usage share compared to just 2.2 percent for Android."

Contributing factors to the "unthinkable" include the increasing number of smartphones accessing the Internet -- especially in Asia -- as well as the declining sales of traditional desktop PCs, which have long been Windows-centric.

On those desktops (and laptops), however, Windows still reigns supreme, with an 84.1 percent Internet usage share last month.

"Windows has won the desktop war, but the battlefield has moved on," Cullen said.

 Android Chasing Windows
[Click on image for larger view.] Android Chasing Windows (source: StatCounter)

While Android usage skyrocketed beginning in about early 2014, iOS usage rose at a much slower rate, clocking in at about 13 percent in February. This reflects the general viewpoint that much iOS usage comes from more affluent mobile users favoring high-end iPhones, while Android is seen as being used more by the masses on lower-end devices, especially in developing areas. Apple's iOS also is seen as providing the best monetary payoff for developers.

The increasing popularity of mobile devices contributed to smartphone and tablet usage overtaking desktop and laptop for the first time last October.

Methodology and other information about StatCounter's Global Stats research can be found in a FAQ.

About the Author

David Ramel is an editor and writer for Converge360.