Above: The map shows the operating system market share worldwide as at the end of March 2017 (Source: StatCounter)
According to the research arm of StatCounter, an independent web analytics company, Android topped the worldwide OS internet usage market share in March with 37.93%, which puts it marginally ahead of Windows (37.91%) for the first time.
"This is a milestone in technology history and the end of an era," said Aodhan Cullen, CEO of StatCounter, in a media release.
Cullen said that main drivers of the breakthrough were:
• the growth of smartphones to access the internet
• a decline in sales of traditional PCs
• the impact of Asia on the global market
"It marks the end of Microsoft's leadership worldwide of the OS market which it has held since the 1980s," added Cullen.
"It also represents a breakthrough for Android which held just 2.4% of global internet usage share only five years ago."
However, Windows still dominates the worldwide operating system desktop market (PC and laptop) with an 84% internet usage share in March.
"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 [Artificial Intelligence], Voice or Continuum (a product that aims to replace a desktop and smartphone with a single Microsoft powered phone)."