The Android mobile operating system from Google is used in more devices than Windows, Microsoft, in four years, according to data released by research firm Gartner, underscoring a massive change in the technology sector.
In late 2016, there will be 2,300 million computers, ‘tablets’ and smartphones with Android software, compared with 2,280 million devices running Windows, according to the data shown by Gartner. That compares with a forecast of 1.500 million Windows devices later this year, against 608 million using Android.
The Android mobile OS, which came to market in 2008, has grown rapidly to become the dominant smartphone platform, controlling two-thirds of the market and has been placed at number two in the market for ‘tablets’. The proliferation of free software gives Google an advantage also in the search market, its biggest profit generator.
Worldwide sales of personal computers fell more than 8 percent in the third quarter, the biggest drop since 2001, as more consumers turn to the ‘tablets’ and smartphones are increasingly powerful for most basic computing.
Microsoft Windows has dominated the personal computer industry for decades but the company has struggled to keep up with the shift to wireless technology and smart phones. Its market share is around 3 percent.