Microsoft's Windows has ruled the OS market for as long as one can remember. Bill Gates' company had a vision: "a computer in every home" and it succeeded in doing that. That was the PC-era, as some like to call it and this is the "Post-PC" era dominated by smartphones, and we all know how that panned out for Microsoft. This month, however, marks an end to Windows' reign in the OS arena as Google's Android takes the top spot in terms of internet usage for the first time ever, according to StatCounter.
The firm calls it a "milestone in technology history" and the "end of an era" as Microsoft's iconic OS is displaced after decades of dominance. For the month of March 2017, Android's usage accounted for 37.93% narrowly beating Windows' 37.91%.
Aodhan Cullen, CEO of StatCounter commented:
“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.”
The decline of the Redmond giant's OS and the rise of Google's is a combination of strong smartphone penetration in Asia, an area where Android dominates, as well as the continuous downfall of PC sales. Cullen added that while it won the "desktop war", Microsoft failed to capitalize on the mobile market which grew at an unprecedented rate. But he believes that the company may have a chance at redemption with "the next paradigm shift", calling AR, AI, and Continuum as the prospective opportunities.
While Android is the current worldwide leader, Windows continues to lead in key markets such as North America and Europe. Google's OS's sizable influence in Asia and Africa allowed it to leapfrog its rival. You can find the complete OS market share break-down here.