Android is now the world's most popular operating system, overtaking Microsoft's Windows for the first time in terms of total internet usage across desktop, laptop, tablet, and mobile combined. The news comes from StatCounter's internet usage numbers for the month of March, which show that Android inched ahead of Windows with a market share of 37.93%. Windows was just 0.02% behind, at 37.91%.
"This is a milestone in technology history and the end of an era," said StatCounter CEO Aodhan Cullen. "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."
"Windows won the desktop war but the battlefield 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."
iOS and macOS sat around 15% and 5% respectively, throughout the month of March. Much of the disparity between Android and iOS usage figures can be associated with the cost of devices. While new iPhones often start at over $600, new Android phones can be bought for as little as $50.
While Windows is still the dominant platform in much of the western world, China, India, and much of Africa have been essential in propelling Android to the number one spot. For example, in India, almost 62% of users accessed the internet through an Android smartphone, whereas less than 10% used a Windows device.
StatCounter's numbers are gathered through trackers embedded on over 2.5 million websites.