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Android Overtakes Windows as the Internet's Most Used Operating System (betanews.com) 138

As expected last month, Android has surpassed Windows to become the world's most used operating system, according to the web analytics firm StatCounter. From a report: Usage figures published by StatCounter show that Android accounted for 37.93 percent of the worldwide OS Internet usage share in March. Windows is not far behind at 37.91 percent, but Android taking the lead is being described as a "milestone in technology history." The fact that Android is now topping the charts can be attributed to the fact that mobile devices are now used to connect to the Internet far more frequently than desktop computers and laptop. Coupled with declining PC sales, Windows is starting to lose out overall, although it still accounts for 84 percent of the worldwide desktop operating system market.
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Android Overtakes Windows as the Internet's Most Used Operating System

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  • "Windows is too difficult for the average person to use. That is why it will never gain popularity succeed as an operating system." I always wanted to say that!
    • by zlives ( 2009072 )

      the shoe... it finally fits?!!

    • by Anonymous Coward

      It was fine up to 7. It's since 8 that the nightmare started

    • I had a get-together at my house last weekend, family and friends of family.

      We decided on some music. I turned on my windows machine which has some decent speakers on it. Loaded up Youtube and told everyone to have at it.

      A person somewhat younger than me said "Ooo! A mouse. I haven't used one of these in years."

      • A person somewhat younger than me said "Ooo! A mouse. I haven't used one of these in years."

        Is his first name "Montgomery" by any chance?

  • My sister was chiding me a while back about me saying over a decade ago that "Linux" usage was going to explode and "that ended up not happening at all." I then pointed out that Android was Linux and that the Personal Computer had just shrank to cellphone size. That shut her up good. . . : p

    I am now living the dream, working in a start-up where the flagship product runs on. . . you guessed it, Linux. We have come a long way. It will be interesting to see where the next decade takes us.
    • by jeremyp ( 130771 ) on Monday April 03, 2017 @12:26PM (#54164707) Homepage Journal

      Android isn't really Linux. Yes, buried in there somewhere is a Linux kernel, but the kernel is not the operating system.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        So because Android doesn't include GNU component, you don't consider it Linux despite the fact that it runs the same kernel as your favorite distribution. Okay smart guy....

      • by TWX ( 665546 ) on Monday April 03, 2017 @12:41PM (#54164793)

        If you're being pedantic about it, Android's claim to Linux is just as strong, what it lacks is the GNU toolkit and the general base of additional software that one normally finds on a UNIX-like system. The Android shell, whatever it happens to be called, is intended to obscure what's underneath and it does a pretty good job of that.

        I sort of see why they did that. Windows users were accustomed to running with account privileges that left the platform vulnerable to exploit. Android largely has avoided that through simply not giving the end user the ability to have those kinds of access privileges through native tools. This also forces application developers to design software that doesn't require those kinds of superuser access privileges, so that the whole system remains relatively secure compared to the morass that Microsoft's OSes have been for the past twenty-five years.

      • by Idou ( 572394 ) on Monday April 03, 2017 @01:17PM (#54165075) Journal

        Android isn't really Linux. Yes, buried in there somewhere is a Linux kernel

        It uses the Linux kernel but is not really "Linux" seems to be some arbitrary constraint you have invented. Maybe my original post lacked context: my sister is a non-techy. I was never expecting her to use GNU tools, etc. . .

        but the kernel is not the operating system.

        You seem so confident, yet not everyone seems to agree with you [stackoverflow.com].

        I am sure that if Chrome OS took over you would have a reason to say why THAT is not really Linux. Such is the world through the eyes of a pedant. Meanwhile, the rest of us will be able to appreciate the underlying point that Open Source and its flag ship project (Linux) is having an impact we could not even dream of a decade or so ago.

        • If you slap busybox on it, it's still Linux. If you have Android tools running through Bionic, it's still linux. "Adb shell" and all the traditional commands still work fine.
          • by tepples ( 727027 )

            Has anyone tried to install something like GNURoot Debian and an X server on an Android tablet with a Bluetooth keyboard and then try to run desktop applications? How well does it work?

            • I think the main difficulty would be graphics drivers, actually.
              • by tepples ( 727027 )

                There is XSDL [google.com], which runs on top of Android's built-in graphics framework. I just wondered if anyone here had good or bad experiences getting GNURoot Debian [google.com] and XSDL to work together, such as if there is any non-obvious configuration that needs to be done or if it's unusably slow or clunky to control.

            • Has anyone tried to install something like GNURoot Debian and an X server on an Android tablet with a Bluetooth keyboard and then try to run desktop applications? How well does it work?

              Yes.

              It works reasonably well, depending on your hardware. It seems slower on newer versions of Android.

      • by MightyMartian ( 840721 ) on Monday April 03, 2017 @01:21PM (#54165101) Journal

        Um, yes, it's Linux, just as much as any embedded Linux-based OS is Linux. True, it may not be the Stallman-esque "GNU/Linux", in that it has very little of the GNU toolset, but that's true of most embedded Linux systems (i.e. anything with BusyBox).

        So yes, it is Linux, just as much as, say, a WR54G is a Linux-based system.

      • Android isn't really Linux.

        Android is an userland built on the Linux kernel, much like GNU is built on the Linux kernel.

        Android is as much Linux as Ubuntu is Linux.

        Yes, buried in there somewhere is a Linux kernel, but the kernel is not the operating system.

        You have a poor definition of operating system because Linux does everything that is required of an operating system. Also, who said anything about it being an operating system? The only thing he mentioned was Linux.

      • ...and this (and all the replies) is why people to rant about Stallman being evil because he wants the operating system that combines the GNU userland with the Linux kernel to be called GNU/Linux are hopelessly wrong.

        Linux is, and always was, just the kernel. It always was strange that so many insisted on naming the entire operating system after just one component, still more so the mental gymnastics people would go through to justify it. And the development of Android meant there really wasn't an excuse

        • by bondsbw ( 888959 )

          It always was strange that so many insisted on naming the entire operating system after just one component

          GNU is not a sexy name, and Linux includes an "x". That's really all there is to it.

      • Stallman cleared up that confusion decades ago, by insisting that the complete OS be called GNU/Linux. More recently, in 2011 [theguardian.com], he also made the Android naming clear:

        "Android is very different from the GNU/Linux operating system because it contains very little of GNU. Indeed, just about the only component in common between Android and GNU/Linux is Linux, the kernel. People who erroneously think "Linux" refers to the entire GNU/Linux combination get tied in knots by these facts, and make paradoxical stateme
      • by Trogre ( 513942 )

        Yes it is, just as much as your Fedora desktop or Debian server are Linux.

        It just isn't GNU/Linux.

        Take *that*, Richard Stallman.

    • by TWX ( 665546 )

      Perhaps the nitpickers were right when they wanted us to call it "GNU/Linux" back in the day.

      Hell, my Apple laptop with OSX has more in common with Linux from an end-user point of view as far as UNIX-style tools and privilege escalation are concerned than my Android phone does.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Android is Linux in the same way your bank's ATM is Windows. It's certainly not what most people experience as Linux. While the ATM might well be Windows, all that a user is exposed to are the buttons for deposits, withdrawals, account statements, et al.

      For any computer user, Linux would be an OS that would either take them to a bash shell, or to an X/Wayland based desktop environment, like KDE, GNOME, XFCE, et al. If somebody who's using a gun that uses Linux for internal calibration of target orientati

      • So what you're saying is that PC-BSD is more Linux than Android is Linux? That's a very convoluted rationale you have. All those years of Stallman saying that you should say GNU/Linux because the core utilities, C library, and so on are at least as important as the kernel, and now people are saying that a system without those components but with Linux is not Linux.
        • The ATM analogy is especially good. On a typical Android device (not everyone has a Galaxy S5 or something where hacks or alternate OS are available) the OS is unchangeable, as good as locked behind steel plates and it encourages "do as you're told" kind of interfaces.

          It's Linux, but less hackable than a handheld console like a Nintendo DS, and you have less freedom than on a Windows (7 Home/Pro, 8 Home/Pro, 10 Enterprise) PC.

      • For any computer user, Linux would be an OS that would either take them to a bash shell

        If you're using GNU's command prompt as the contrast, say "Android doesn't run applications made for GNU/Linux."

        or to an X/Wayland based desktop environment, like KDE, GNOME, XFCE, et al.

        If you're using the X Window System as the contrast, say "Android doesn't run applications made for X11/Linux."

        What you could have pointed your sister to could have been ChromeOS: it's been gaining popularity

        How well does Chrome OS run applications that aren't written in JavaScript, especially while riding a bus in a city whose buses doesn't provide Wi-Fi?

        • by Xenex ( 97062 )

          Chrome OS running crouton [github.com] is fantastic. Run Linux apps in Chrome tabs. (Check out xiwi. Running Firefox in a Chrome OS tab is fun!)

          Combined with Android apps on Chrome OS [google.com] maturing, it's not just about JavaScipt anymore.

          • As I see it, Crouton is for people who live alone, not for people who live with someone far less computer savvy. Installing it requires putting the Chromebook in developer mode, which could also be called "beg whoever turns it on to wipe everything by pressing two keys" mode. If your roommate turns on your Chromebook with Crouton installed, she probably won't know to press Ctrl+D to skip the "OS verification is OFF" interstitial. If she follows the prompts in said interstitial to to reenable OS verification

            • I do live alone. I think if I didn't, I'd be paranoid about backups regardless of what OS I was using. The thought of someone else messing up my machine gives me the shivers.

    • I then pointed out that Android was Linux and that the Personal Computer had just shrank to cellphone size.

      It's too bad these computers are stuck back in the DOS era of one application maximized to fill the whole screen. Even Windows 1.0 could split the screen to put two applications side by side. But with the "all maximized all the time" window management policy of stock Android 1 through 6, you need to buy two devices just to (say) read a document in one application and take notes in another, or have a game and its walkthrough visible. This is despite a tablet's display being (physically) large enough to show

      • I have several complaints about phone/tablet OSs vs those on a REAL computer, but the full-screen stuff is the worst. On a real computer, I'm always copying from one window to another. I don't even try it on my phone; I just wait until I get home to my PC.

  • by Rosco P. Coltrane ( 209368 ) on Monday April 03, 2017 @12:26PM (#54164699)

    For a long time, I thought "Android - and its awful datamining daddy Google - is more and more pervasive, but at least Windows isn't serving me ads, and with moderate efforts, isn't putting me under surveillance." Well... ahem... that sure turned out well lately :(

    So the irony is, Android has overtaken Windows as the most used OS, but Windows has overtaken Android as the most evil. And the losers in all that are all of us users.

    • Windows is just catching up to Android on evilness.  When the OS has a built-in Ads API.... yeah...  Windows doesn't have that.. yet.
    • but Windows has overtaken Android as the most evil.

      iOS wins that one hands down, by being so locked down

    • Uh...have you heard of Windows 10? It's a spyware + ad trojan. Has a total ad server through it's panes, and info from every file heard is sent to MS (Or more specifically forwarded to the NSA). If anything, Windows 10 is doing MORE data mining, and worse, you cannot control the updates in Home edition without stopping the internal services (so it's pre-hijacked). and even Windows 10 Professional has limited control (again short of killing the windows update service)
    • Something else funny. One of Windows 10's problems is you can't turn updates off. One of Androids is, you can't get updates!

    • Sounds like you feel entitled to something.
      Why not just install Linux and be free of the majority of commercial endeavors like Google and Microsoft?

      If you REALLY want to avoid 'evils' of commercial companies that rely on income from their (streams), the get off your duff - spend a little energy and install a Linux distro, and be free from commercial products.
  • I've seen so many statistics on this on SD.

    One minute. we're to believe that some browser has overtaken the market as a whole, the next minute we'll believe that Linux is the most used (perhaps in server environments), Next minute we'll know that Windows still is used by 90% of the worlds population as a whole...so, all of a sudden Lin...I mean Android is the most used, oooh on the INTERNET, right right! So...that means that a whole lot doesn't have internet and still use windows, oooor?

    What I am trying to

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by bgrahambo ( 1946720 )
      And each of those examples you provided is a valid set of statistics to know. It's pretty common to break down usage statistics into certain markets and categories. If you can only handle everything lumped together into one giant category lump, maybe you should stop looking at the more detailed stuff. You certainly shouldn't start complaining about stuff that the rest of us are interested in.
  • Microsoft will bringt Windows on phones and then google will learn, what qualiy is ... ... oh wait.

  • Anyone else jump straight to the comments to read the shills? It's a joy to watch them try to spin things.

  • If Google ever decides to implement the Windows-equivalent model for third-party applications (i.e., more than WINE) and "HAL", it will...for the first time since Windows v1...establish that there is a serious competitor to Windows. We have needed a competitor to Microsoft's dominant OS for a long, long time, if for no other reason than to keep them "honest" (as contrast with, say, the "Free Windows 10" gag that basically thrust all "Beta Testing" onto unsuspecting geeks, which led to the arrogance they ex

    • "If you're not PAYING for the product, you ARE the product being sold"

      only problem is that windows 10 is no longer free and that MS is doing the exact same things to paying customer as they are the free users. the paying customer have no options better then the free users do, its the very same OS..that to me is MS Abuse..how can it be fixed? don't use win 10 stick with 7 until..but we have no support given by our government that we pay for to stop abuses like MS is pulling on paying customer.
    • you must remember this: If you're not PAYING for the product, you ARE the product being sold.

      I purchased an ASUS Nexus 7 tablet on Google's store in July 2012. Does that count as "PAYING for the product"?

    • Google still needs to fix it's update model. Software updates is older hardware is a mess. My S5 comes up with this random "phone has stopped working" error message. The only way to get rid of the message is to reboot the phone. It's ridiculous for a phone that is only 2 years old.
  • Or as we call it, Linux with Java. No Windows systems in our house!
  • This shows that we are still a young sector. We only have two mainstream operating systems.

    For example the car industry has multiple major mainstream car brands, models and domains (sports cars, SUV, sedan, etc).

    I expect even more kinds of operating systems, operating system brands and operating system principles to become mainstream.

    We're still a young sector.

    • The difference is that "multiple major mainstream car brands, models and domains" can drive on the same roads to the same businesses. With computers, on the other hand, you need to make your application five different times to reach users of the five incompatibly different operating systems: Windows, macOS, X11/Linux, iOS, and Android.

    • by Bert64 ( 520050 )

      There used to be many more operating systems in the early days, we've actually regressed in this regard...

    • We only have two mainstream operating systems

      To whom is this "we" supposed to refer, and what is a "mainstream" operating system?

      Even leaving aside the GNU/Linux-versus-Android debate above, and the fragmentation of both of those camps... Apple's various flavors of iOS / MacOS have around a billion combined users, and they're close enough that they could be considered an OS family like Windows. I regularly deal with a number of UNIX flavors and zOS. Some people treat the various zOS personalities (batch, TSO, CICS, IMS, CMS) as distinct OSes; certainl

  • by Mr_Blank ( 172031 ) on Monday April 03, 2017 @02:55PM (#54165827) Journal

    It took Microsoft a while to lose the battle as the on ramp to the internet.

    The top post on Slashdot on 02 April 2003 was "Microsoft Wants to Take on Google [slashdot.org]"

    "We do view Google more and more as a competitor. We believe that we can provide consumers with a better product and a better user experience. That's something that we're actively looking at doing,", says Bob Visse, director of marketing for Microsoft's MSN Internet services division, said.

  • "Doctor Android, tell me the truth! Is it corporate cancerism?"

    Just the obligatory weak joke, but the topic is much deeper. I can't decide whether or not this is a good thing.

    Obviously it's basically driven by Moore's Law. We can now pack enough computing power into a smartphone that most people don't need a full-sized computer for their daily tasks. Microsoft sort of saw it coming, but on the distorted and twisted foundation of their cancerously overgrown OSes and bloated applications, they never figured o

  • It's largely irrelevant. Android and windows operating systems are for different uses. It's like the laptop vs tablet debate. Many people still have both, but the replacement cycles are longer as a result. Perhaps if Android & Chrome merge it will be more relevant. But that does not appear to be the case in the near future.

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