Android surpasses Windows as the world's most popular OS

According to the independent web analytics company StatsCounter, Android reached a very big milestone in March, overtaking Windows as the world's most popular operating system in terms of total internet usage across desktop, laptop, tablet, and mobile combined. It was marginal, but Android topped the worldwide OS internet usage market share with 37.93%, with Windows just behind at 37.91%.

According to StatsCounter CEO Aodhan Cullen, the main drivers of this breakthrough have been the global growth of smartphones usage for connecting to the internet, decline in sales of traditional PCs, and the impact of Asia on the global market. Microsoft Windows still owns the majority market share among desktop operating systems (PCs and laptops) and also remains the dominant operating system across all platforms in North America (Windows at 39.5%, iOS at 25.7%, Android at 21.2%), but Android's growth on the global stage does highlight our growing reliance on mobile technology.

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

While Windows will likely continue to dominate the desktop market, it will be interesting to see whether Samsung's new Dex dock will catch on and eat into Microsoft's market share further.

You can dive into StatCounter map deeper statistics and maps from March here.

Marc Lagace

Marc Lagace was an Apps and Games Editor at Android Central between 2016 and 2020. You can reach out to him on Twitter [@spacelagace.