For the first time ever, Android internet usage has overtaken that of Windows, according to a report from web analytics firm StatCounter. The report, published earlier today, claims that Android represented a 37.93% percent of global internet activity during March 2017, while Windows represented 37.91%.
To measure this, StatCounter uses a tracking code installed on “more than 2.5 million” global websites. The “billions” of monthly page views to these sites are then analysed based on the “browser/operating system/screen resolution” of the device being used.
Through this, StatCounter can establish if the page view relates to a desktop/laptop system or a mobile device. (Just so we’re clear, this means that the “internet usage” referenced covers instances of websites being accessed, rather than number of devices connected to the internet, or individual users accessing the internet.)
The crossover between these systems underscores the ferocity with which mobile platforms, of which Android currently represents an upwards of 80% share of, have risen. Windows machines had long ruled the roost as far as internet usage was concerned, but it’s fell from more than an 80% market share in 2012 to less than 38% as of last month.
This has been foreshadowed by the increase and decrease of the relative platforms. The smartphone market continues to grow, with an estimated increase of 2% in 2016 and a predicted +7% increase in 2017, while PC sales are said to have been in decline in the last five years, and are now basically where they were in 2008. Android’s dominance in emerging markets is also partly responsible; unlike the US and UK, the likes of India and China access the internet far more on mobile platforms than desktop.
Where is this leading us? Well, unfortunately for Microsoft, it looks like the reliance on Windows-based machines is likely to continue to decrease as Google and others mind more ways to marry mobile and desktop features. Google is said to be working on a way to unify its Chrome OS and Android platforms, and Samsung’s new Dex accessory provides a way to connect its Galaxy S8 flagship phone to a monitor, mouse and keyboard, for usage akin to that of a traditional PC system.
Microsoft’s recent moves, meanwhile, include a deal with Samsung to sell the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus in its stores, which, disappointingly, just seems like a weak attempt at increasing the adoption of its productivity apps.