Android challenges Windows as world’s most popular operating system in terms of internet usage

Development would have been “unthinkable” five years ago

“Windows has won desktop war but battlefield has moved on”

In what StatCounter describes as “unthinkable five years ago”, Google’s Android is challenging Microsoft Windows as the world’s most popular operating system (OS) in terms of total internet usage across desktop, laptop, tablet and mobile combined.

The research arm of StatCounter, the independent web analytics company, finds that in February 2017, while Windows remained top of worldwide OS internet usage market share with 38.6%, Android came within striking distance on 37.4%.

“The idea of Android almost matching Windows would have been unthinkable five years ago,” commented Aodhan Cullen, CEO, StatCounter. “In January 2012 Windows held 82% global internet usage share compared to just 2.2% for Android.”

He said that the development was a function of the growth of smartphones to access the internet as well as a slowdown in sales of traditional PCs plus the impact of Asia on the global market.

Windows still dominates the worldwide operating system desktop market (PC and laptop) with a 84.1% internet usage share in February.

“Windows has won the desktop war but the battlefield has moved on,” said Cullen.

StatCounter recently reported that in October 2016 internet usage by mobile and tablet devices exceeded desktop and laptop worldwide for the first time.

In North America Windows (all versions) maintained its lead across all platforms with 40.7% share in February followed by iOS (24.9%) and Android (20.3%). It’s a similar story in Europe where Windows (51.8%) is more than twice the level of Android (23.5%). However, in Asia, Android is now over 50% (51.8%) compared to 29.8% for Windows.

OS market share map: http://gs.statcounter.com/os-market-share#monthly-201702-201702-map

StatCounter data also finds that Windows 10 overtook Windows 7 for the first time in North America in December.

“Windows 10 will need to maintain momentum in order to combat the steady march of Android across all markets,” added Aodhan Cullen.

The data is based on StatCounter Global Stats for which the company has recently released a major upgrade. This provides media, researchers, analysts and interested consumers with a free service to help analyse internet wars as the major vendors battle for dominance across operating systems, search, browsers, desktop and mobile.

StatCounter (www.statcounter.com) has also launched an upgrade of its core website which provides web analytics, including a free option, to help companies, agencies, bloggers, self-employed and charities measure, analyse and understand visitors to their own sites.

“We’ve always focused on ease of use and with these upgrades we wanted to make both services even more intuitive, usable and accessible,” commented Aodhan Cullen.

StatCounter Global Stats data is based on over 15 billion page views per month to over 2.5 million websites. Further information: http://gs.statcounter.com/faq

To analyse individual countries or regions see: http://gs.statcounter.com/os-market-share

Statement by The Document Foundation about the upcoming discussion at the City of Munich to step back to Windows and MS Office

The Document Foundation is an independent, charitable entity and the home of LibreOffice. We have followed the developments in Munich with great concerns and like to express our disappointment to see a minority of politicians apparently ignoring the expert advice for which they’ve sought.

Rumours of the City of Munich returning to Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office have been regularly leaking since the election of Mayor Dieter Reiter, who was described as a “Microsoft fan” when interviewed by StadtBild magazine in 2014.

Mayor Dieter Reiter asked Accenture, a Microsoft partner, to produce a report about the situation of the City of Munich’s IT infrastructure, that resulted in a 450-page document where the main issues were identified as organizational ones and not related to open source operating systems and applications.

In the age of open data and transparency in political decision making, we are glad that the report is now made available to the general public (https://www.ris-muenchen.de/RII/RII/DOK/SITZUNGSVORLAGE/4277724.pdf).

According to the report, only a minor percentage of users (between 18% and 28%, based on different applications) had severe issues related to software, which could be solved by migrating these users to Windows and MS Office. Incidentally, 15% of users acknowledged severe issues related to MS Office.

In fact, the Accenture report suggests decoupling the operating system and application to reduce dependencies at client level. To ensure this, both Windows and LiMux should be deployed in a basic configuration, which includes operating systems as well as applications, such as LibreOffice, calendar and e-mail, required by all units and self-service providers. The basic configuration should be extended depending on the application.

In spite of the suggestions, on Wednesday, February 15, Munich City Council will discuss a proposal – filed by a minority of city councillors – to install Windows 10 and MS Office 2016 on all workstations by 2020. This would cost taxpayers close to 90 million euro over the next six years, with a 35% aggravation over the 66 million euro figure suggested by Accenture.

In addition, according to estimates provided by Green Party councillors, another 15 million euros should be spent to replace or upgrade PCs which are perfect for a small footprint operating system such as Linux, but cannot support even a Windows 10 basic configuration.

Last, but not least, most expenditures related to the purchase of Microsoft licenses will contribute to the GDP of Ireland (where all Microsoft products sold in Europe are sourced from) rather than to local enterprises who support the open source solutions deployed today. This is a rather striking difference in the allocation of taxpayers money, which should be carefully considered.

Apart from the cost aggravation, the proposal under discussion ignores the main reason behind the decision to migrate from proprietary to open source software by the City of Munich, i.e. independence from a single software vendor and the move from proprietary to standard document formats.

In fact, although the proposal associates MS Office document formats with the “industry standard” concept, it should be clear that all MS Office documents are proprietary and obfuscated, and therefore inappropriate for interoperability, even when they have been recognized by international standard bodies such as ISO. A standard document format, to be considered as such, must be implemented in the real world and not only described on paper.

If the current proposal will be approved, the City of Munich will not only lose the vendor independence it has sought over the last dozen of years, but will pursue a strategy which ignores the current trend mandating open document standards in countries such as UK, France, Sweden, the Netherlands and Taiwan.

Instead of investing in the education about open document standards, to increase the adoption and thus reduce interoperability costs, the City of Munich will adopt a pseudo-standard document format which is known to create issues even when upgrading from a previous release of the same MS Office software.

Based on the above considerations, The Document Foundation thinks that the proposal to be discussed on Wednesday, February 15, represents a significant step backwards for the City of Munich, with a substantial increase in expenditure, an unknown amount of hidden cost related to interoperability, and a questionable usage of taxpayers money.

Windows 8.1 overtakes XP and breaks 10% mark for first time globally in terms of internet usage

Windows 8.1 has broken the 10% mark and overtaken XP for the first time globally in terms of internet usage according to StatCounter, the independent website analytics company.

The report from the company’s research arm, StatCounter Global Stats shows that in November, Windows 8.1 at 10.95% narrowly beat XP to second place, pushing it to third at 10.69%. Windows 7 remains the most popular operating system on 50.3%.

“Following a somewhat mixed reaction to Windows 8, Windows 8.1 has made steady progress since its launch,” commented Aodhan Cullen, CEO, StatCounter. “It passed Windows 8 in August and has now passed Windows XP in November. The growth trajectory for Windows 8.1 has been positive but if current trends continue it will not topple Windows 7 before Windows 10 is launched in 2015.”

In the US Windows 8.1 is at 12.2% having overtaken XP in October. Windows 7 leads with 43.9%.

In the UK, where Windows 8.1 overtook XP in April, XP has declined to 4.2% while Windows 8.1 is currently at 13.2%. Windows 7 is number one on 40.4%. (Other country analysis available on http://gs.statcounter.com/#os-ww-monthly-201311-201411).

StatCounter (www.statcounter.com) provides independent website analytics, including a free option, to companies, agencies, bloggers, self-employed, charities and those who want to measure activity on their website, blog or forum. Key features include ease of use, independence and ability to view individual visitors in real time.

StatCounter recently announced a new feature in response to Google’s removal of keyword data. By integrating Google Webmaster Tools (GWT) data into its reports, StatCounter has given its members the ability to access all available keyword intelligence which they can slice and dice all within their StatCounter account.

StatCounter Global Stats data is based on over 15 billion page views per month to over three million websites. Further info is available here: http://gs.statcounter.com/faq

Windows 8.1 overtakes 8 worldwide

Source: StatCounter Global Stats – OS Market Share

But XP refuses to die and remains number two globally despite end of support in April

Microsoft’s Windows 8.1 operating system has overtaken its older sibling Windows 8 for the first time in terms of internet usage worldwide, according to StatCounter, the independent website analytics company.*

The company’s research arm, StatCounter Global Stats also finds that despite Microsoft’s ending of support in April this year, Windows XP refuses to die and remains the world’s second most popular operating system version. However, for the first time globally, the combined total of Windows 8 and 8.1 (14%) overtook XP (12.9%) in August.

StatCounter finds that Windows 8.1 worldwide has grown steadily to 7.5% in August ahead of Windows 8 (6.6%). The newer operating system overtook its sibling in the UK in April and in the US in May. The data covers desktop, tablet and console.

“Following a mixed reaction to Windows 8, perhaps because of its radical new look, Windows 8.1 appears to be winning over users,” commented Aodhan Cullen, CEO, StatCounter.

However, he added that the stubborn refusal of Windows XP to retire almost five months after the ending of non-paid support is a concern in terms of security and virus risks for remaining users.

Globally XP is on 12.9%, behind Windows 7 on 50.3%. In the US, XP internet usage share has declined below double figures to 8.9%. Europe’s XP share is 10.6% with UK down to 5.2%. Individual country stats are available at:

http://gs.statcounter.com/#os-ww-monthly-201308-201408

Independent web analytics specialist StatCounter (www.statcounter.com) tracks millions of websites for companies, agencies, bloggers, self-employed, charities and anyone who wants to measure activity on their website, blog or forum. Key features include ease of use, independence and ability to view individual visitors in real time.

StatCounter recently announced a new feature in response to Google’s controversial removal of keyword data. By integrating Google Webmaster Tools (GWT) data into its reports, StatCounter has given its members the ability to analyze all available keyword data.

This means that members don’t have to separately access GWT, download the data, merge with other keyword reports and analyze the combined information. Instead, StatCounter members can access all available keyword intelligence and slice and dice this all within their StatCounter account. StatCounter Global Stats data is based on over 15 billion page views per month to over three million websites.

StatCounter Global Stats data is based on over 15 billion page views per month to over three million websites.

*Microsoft assigned a new and distinct user agent to Windows 8.1 compared to Windows 8. For this reason, the two operating systems are separately reported on StatCounter Global Stats.

Microsoft Windows 8.1 with Bing confirmed

Microsoft today confirmed a low cost edition of their Windows 8 operating system aimed at cheaper computing devices. They have named it Windows 8.1 with Bing.

The company said:

Windows 8.1 with Bing provides all the same great experiences that Windows 8.1 offers with the Windows 8.1 Update, and comes with Bing as the default search engine within Internet Explorer. And of course customers will be able to change that setting through the Internet Explorer menu, providing them with control over search engine settings. This new edition will be only be available preloaded on devices from our hardware partners. Some of these devices, in particular tablets, will also come with Office or a one-year subscription to Office 365. The end result is that more people—across consumer and commercial—will have access to an even broader selection of new devices with all the awesomeness that Windows 8.1 provides, and get Office too, all at a really affordable price. Additionally, as reach expands, the opportunity for developers and their apps also increases.

Read more: Helping our hardware partners build lower cost Windows devices

Microsoft is no longer supporting Windows 8.1 installations

Microsoft released a major update of Windows 8 this month. The update is named Windows 8.1 Update. This has also become the new baseline version for the Windows operating system.

This means that all future updates would need the user to have the Windows 8.1 Update installed on their machines. Anything older is now unsupported.

Looks like Microsoft is playing it safe looking at what they faced with Windows XP. Forcing the users to stay up to date has advantages but this could become a major problem for corporates.

Read more: Microsoft Abandons Windows 8.1: Take Immediate Action Or Be Cut Off Like Windows XP – Forbes

Microsoft finally kills support for Windows XP

If you are still using Windows XP on any of your machines, Microsoft would finally stop supporting that OS from today.

This means that XP would not receive any updates or patches from the company in the future.

Of course, Microsoft might be forced to change their stance once again. Especially considering Windows XP is still a massively used OS around the world.

Reports claim that majority of ATMs still run on Windows XP globally and all of them are affected by this new development.

Read more: Windows XP support has ended – Microsoft Windows

Skype for Windows Metro now support invisible mode

Microsoft has updated Skype app for Modern Windows. Users can now opt to move into invisible mode. There is also an option to log out even. Until now, the app logged you in as soon as you booted Windows as it is connected to your Microsoft account.

Skype developers said:

You will see more from us about this topic in the future. Why? Because helping users stay plugged in but without getting overwhelmed or feeling disturbed is a tricky challenge and we look to our users to tell us what works best for them.

Read more: Skype for Modern Windows 2.7, with Multiple Ways to Manage Your Availability – – Skype Blogs

Internet Explorer 11 features an Apple Safari Reader style Reading View functionality

If you have been using Internet Explorer 11 on the desktop mode in Windows 8.1 you probably have no idea about this functionality.

This is because Microsoft made it a Metro mode only option though they might bring it to the desktop edition of IE11 in a future update.

The feature looks handy for reading long webpages on complex websites. Though content owners would not appreciate yet another browser integrating such a functionality that basically strip ads and other UI elements from their websites.


Checkout: Introducing Reading View in IE 11 – IEBlog – Site Home – MSDN Blogs

Windows 8.1 Update 1 likely to be released for general public next month

ZDNet has reported that Microsoft has finalized the Windows 8.1 Update 1 build and it is being delivered to manufacturers for preloading on new machines.

The update is likely to be delivered to users of Windows 8.1 through the Patch Tuesday update next month.

This is the second major update to Windows 8 since its launch 1.5 years ago. Microsoft is expected to release one more such update before the end of the year.

The next edition of Windows is expected to arrive sometime next year so these two updates could be the last in the Windows 8 series.

ZDNet has highlighted some of the expected changes in this build:

Checkout: Microsoft releases Windows 8.1 Update 1 to manufacturing | ZDNet