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Windows Android Operating Systems Stats

Android Will Surpass Windows By 2016, Say Gartner Stats 149

Posted by timothy
from the see?-change dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Google's Android operating system will be used on more computing devices than Microsoft's Windows within four years, data from research firm Gartner showed on Wednesday, underlining the massive shift in the technology sector. At the end of 2016, there will be 2.3 billion computers, tablets and smartphones using Android software, compared with 2.28 billion Windows devices, Gartner data showed." The comparison would make less sense if Android was strictly for phones, and Windows was strictly for desktops-with-keyboards, but gets interesting as the devices on which each system runs overlap ever more.
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Android Will Surpass Windows By 2016, Say Gartner Stats

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  • by w_dragon (1802458) on Thursday October 25, 2012 @02:54PM (#41768921)
    Is this [xkcd.com] how they're getting their predictions?
    • by cod3r_ (2031620) on Thursday October 25, 2012 @02:55PM (#41768951)
      Damn you and your windows posting faster than my android.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Have Gartner ever predicted anything correctly?

      • Every HP networking webinar I see manages to crowbar the Magic Quadrant slide in somewhere. Someone must believe the hype.
      • by narcc (412956)

        Even a blind squirrel gets a nut once in a while...

        (Probably not this time)

    • Re:Extrapolating (Score:5, Informative)

      by ruir (2709173) on Thursday October 25, 2012 @03:16PM (#41769297)
      They dont need to extrapolate squat. They professional bullshiters, they have long been presenting the present as the future. I still wonder why people quote tem.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by geekoid (135745)

        Becasue Gartner is really good. They take good data, and create conclusion for that fixed data.

        They arn't perfect, but the are pretty damn accurate. I listen to people from Garter, and they know their math. and they general have great methodologies.

        • Breaking news. Slashdot user geekoid is outed as Gene Hall, CEO of Gartner.

          (Philip Fry squint)

          Or are you "Donnie" Darko Hrelic?

        • by Anonymous Coward

          Right. One problem with their great methodologies might be incorporating their predicted 215M shipments of Windows phones by 2015. And their 10% current smart phone market share.

  • WTF? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Cyberax (705495) on Thursday October 25, 2012 @02:54PM (#41768937)
    What are they smoking? Android devices will surpass the number of PCs the next year. Probably, it's already the most widely used OS.
    • Re:WTF? (Score:5, Informative)

      by geekoid (135745) <dadinportland@yBLUEahoo.com minus berry> on Thursday October 25, 2012 @04:08PM (#41770107) Homepage Journal

      No. Right now.
      608 million android device.
      1.68 BILLION windows devices.

      devices being defined as " computers, tablets and smartphones"

      SO, maybe you should put down the pipe and actually read the article.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        If he was smoking something good then he'd probably not care about such trivial things.

      • Hmm, so the 2016 thing sounds more plausible when you think that over 400,000+ Android devices are being activated every day. It'll be interesting to see if Microsoft's latest developments help stem the flow.

        400,000 being activated daily, but how many are being discarded daily? There's a lot of crap Android hardware out there. Also, what are the turnover rates for Windows gear? I haven't RTFA, but I'm assuming Gartner takes all this and more into account.
      • Projections can change Facebook was projected be the best public offering ever we see how that went over past few months. Google does dominate the phone market, like Microsoft dominates the PC industry. But again I would have like to seen a PC vs PC comparison, phone vs phone, and tablet vs tablet. I think those numbers would give use a true more accurate feel for Android vs Windows this article is vague and not very factual. Commander Taco I Miss You.
  • If google provided with an official x86 port ( 64bit only ) we would already see pcs with android ( yes i know of http://www.android-x86.org/ [android-x86.org] )
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Synerg1y (2169962)

      *facepalm* It's called linux, Android is based off it. Also you can run Android OS via an emulator just about anywhere.

      • Re:x86 port (Score:5, Informative)

        by mlts (1038732) * on Thursday October 25, 2012 @03:24PM (#41769425)

        Splitting hairs here, Linux is the kernel, and if one really wants to be technical about it, Android can be considered a really modified Linux distribution.

        The issue with Android making the jump to the desktop hinges around one issue: User support. Android uses UIDs to separate apps. How would it keep users separate, which is a must on a desktop box.

        The only way I can see that happening would be a hypervisor based system with each user on their own VM, and the core filesystem everything sits on having deduplication built in (so each user's environment only saves what the user's changes are.) Then, have a system where users have one mounted filesystem for sharing between everything.

        It can be done, but it would take a lot of work for it to be decently elegant. However, it done right, it would be decently secure unless an app is able to get out of the hypervisor.

        Other than the fact that Android is a single-user OS, it would not be too bad on the desktop. The permission model is solid enough that a compromised Web browser wouldn't mean the whole user or machine is nailed.

        • Re: (Score:1, Redundant)

          by AuMatar (183847)

          Simple- it wouldn't. Android on a desktop box would work just like Android on a phone. It wouldn't keep separate users. Why would it? It's not a multi-user system. You seem to want a new feature to Android for a desktop box. Since desktop isn't their goal, I doubt they'd add it.

          For the record- I don't see why you'd want Android on a desktop, it would be a bad experience. But nothing is stopping you right now, x86 support is out.

          • Re:x86 port (Score:5, Informative)

            by blind biker (1066130) on Thursday October 25, 2012 @03:43PM (#41769703) Journal

            Simple- it wouldn't. Android on a desktop box would work just like Android on a phone. It wouldn't keep separate users. Why would it? It's not a multi-user system. You seem to want a new feature to Android for a desktop box. Since desktop isn't their goal, I doubt they'd add it.

            Your claim is easy and quick to dispute, amigo. [androidpolice.com]

            But don't worry; pompousness and self-confidence will get you far in life!

            • by mlts (1038732) *

              I'm glad you pointed the code out. Having Android be able to tackle users in an elegant fashion (while making sure user A's instance of an app doesn't bang into user B's instance) is a very good thing to have.

              That beats having to have a hypervisor and deduplication on the backend any day.

          • I would guess it wouldn't be too much different then one of these

            http://www.amazon.com/Telikin-Elite-Touchscreen-Computer-Processor/dp/B005T3XEHE [amazon.com]

            Met an old person who had one. It would drive me crazy if I had to use it, but it did everything they needed. Pictures, documents, internet surfing all worked and they didn't have to worry about Windows viruses.

          • Re:x86 port (Score:5, Funny)

            by dmbasso (1052166) on Thursday October 25, 2012 @04:29PM (#41770325)

            For the record- I don't see why you'd want Android on a desktop, it would be a bad experience. But nothing is stopping you right now, x86 support is out.

            Isn't what Windows 8 is all about? I mean, the bad experience.

          • by rtb61 (674572)

            Obviously M$ believes it because that is exactly what they are trying to force a tablet and phone based interface onto PC users. Putting in a cheap upgrade path and are going to become real dicks when it comes to fucking up windows 7 on purpose. They are trying to force everyone to become used to their interface in order to do an end run around android appearing on the desk. Instead they will end up really pissing off their customers at the most risky time, this dependent upon how much they purposefully sc

        • by Synerg1y (2169962)

          Interesting, I didn't know about the whole UIDs thing, but taking a shot at it in the dark, it would probably have to have the user portion built up from scratch and in terms of individualizing the apps, it would probably look like the Windows appdata folder for saving app settings per user. As it stands now the apps aren't configured for multi-user environments is the biggest hurdle. That can be handled either by some really clever directory manipulation re-pointing application settings repositories to t

        • by jythie (914043)
          I would wager that Android on the desktop would suffer from the same problems that other distributions suffer from.. drivers for one. All Android would be is a distro that updates infrequently and has an integrated app store.
          • Re:x86 port (Score:4, Interesting)

            by JDG1980 (2438906) on Thursday October 25, 2012 @04:38PM (#41770459)

            I would wager that Android on the desktop would suffer from the same problems that other distributions suffer from.. drivers for one. All Android would be is a distro that updates infrequently and has an integrated app store.

            The app store is a really big deal... one of the major reasons people don't use desktop Linux is the fact that it doesn't run many of the programs they want to use. There are probably more apps for Android by now than for desktop Linux, and certainly more apps that the average person would be interested in using.

            Drivers are a chicken-and-egg problem... a lot of vendors don't bother with drivers for Linux because it's a small market, and it remains a small market in part because driver support sucks. But Android, by solving some of the other barriers to Linux-kernel adoption, could help break that logjam.

        • Please make it so (Score:4, Interesting)

          by Sloppy (14984) on Thursday October 25, 2012 @05:12PM (#41770853) Homepage Journal

          The issue with Android making the jump to the desktop hinges around one issue: User support. Android uses UIDs to separate apps. How would it keep users separate, which is a must on a desktop box.
           
          The only way I can see that happening would be a hypervisor based system with each user on their own VM, and the core filesystem everything sits on having deduplication built in (so each user's environment only saves what the user's changes are.) Then, have a system where users have one mounted filesystem for sharing between everything.

          Forget desktops; even for single-user mobile devices, what you're describing sounds like an excellent idea anyway. "Excellent" maybe even understates it; I'd say something like this is necessary for phones to ever stop sucking.

          It'd useful not just so that different users could use different VMs, but also to optionally hide one user's applications from one another. Something refuses to install unless I give it access to my address book? Ok, here, have .. um.. an address book.

        • by afidel (530433)

          Android IS a really modified linux distro, I run Debian under chroot on my ICS phone (I wanted a useful command line for some hacking I was doing and there was no combination of partial GNU ports I could find that gave me the tools I normally use so when I found linux installer standard [google.com] I was very happy)

        • Android already had partial multi user support built in, and this will be complete soon, maybe even as early as 4.2 Remember the underlying OS kernel and filesystem support is linux. a quick google search https://www.google.com.au/search?q=android+multiuser [google.com.au] returns over 2.5 M matches. The x86 support is already surprisingly complete and functional, and is being given direct development assistance from Intel itself.
        • by kasperd (592156)

          The issue with Android making the jump to the desktop hinges around one issue: User support. Android uses UIDs to separate apps. How would it keep users separate, which is a must on a desktop box.

          The only way I can see that happening would be a hypervisor based system with each user on their own VM

          You clearly don't know what sort of features exist in Linux for handling that. First of all, there are enough UIDs that one can be assigned to each application installed by each user. Additionally the file system separation has been supported by Linux since version 2.4.19 (according to the clone man page). Each user can have their own file system namespace. And no need for deduplication either. Those parts of the file system, which are read only (or only writable by root) can just be mounted in the same pla

      • by etash (1907284)
        It's been about 6 years since i last used linux, however I think i would prefer android's polishing /gui etc over any linux distro of that timeframe ( 2006 ).
        • by bipbop (1144919)

          Some things in Linux have gotten better in the interim.

          . . . and then there's GNOME.

      • by JDG1980 (2438906)

        *facepalm* It's called linux, Android is based off it.

        Android is based on the Linux kernel. And the reason it's been successful (aside from Google's marketing muscle, which is a not inconsiderable factor) is that it blasted away the 20 layers of worthless legacy shit that sits on top of the kernel on desktops, and replaced it with a new stack that (to borrow an Apple term) "just works". Well, at least for most users, most of the time – but that's more than can be said about [spit] desktop Linux.

        • Android is based on the Linux kernel.

          No, it's really Linux. Just get a root shell and look around. Or alternatively, get any book on operating system design and you will see that 99% of it is about the kernel.

    • Re:x86 port (Score:4, Informative)

      by AuMatar (183847) on Thursday October 25, 2012 @03:29PM (#41769499)

      Android does exist on x86. They officially support it in the NDK, and several OEMs have released products on it.

  • by oodaloop (1229816) on Thursday October 25, 2012 @03:03PM (#41769079)
    2016: Year of the Linux desktop? Or something?
    • Re:Oblig (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Arancaytar (966377) <arancaytar.ilyaran@gmail.com> on Thursday October 25, 2012 @03:10PM (#41769185) Homepage

      Sure, if your desktop device is a phone. I suppose it's possible.

      • by Synerg1y (2169962)

        Motorola tried, phone specs aren't high enough yet.

      • by geekoid (135745)

        No. They are talking about " computers, tablets and smartphones"

        And hardly anyone has a phones. They have small computers. One of the applications is to make phone calls. I can drop my device into a cradle, and use it to send email and surf the web. Open docs, create spreadsheets.

        Assuming current rate of power* growth, by 2016 the small device you carry will do everything except play high end games, Cad, video editing etc..

        *I don't actually think that will happen unless some key fab technologies are rolled

        • And hardly anyone has a phones. They have small computers.

          They are still not desktops. You can call them pocket computers if you want, but they don't fill the top of a desk.

      • by Sir_Sri (199544)

        At some point it might be. Why do you need to have a physical computer if your phone can dock with and power a decent sized monitor and keyboard. Then you can take all of your information etc. with you everywhere, and it can be backed up to a server in your house/office, so if you lose your phone you get issued a new one and voila, all of your data and settings.

        The thing is, we're not really far away from that being a very reasonable possibility. My Galaxy SII has more than enough horsepower for all stan

    • by synapse7 (1075571)
      If you count all the android boxes on ebay it is probably already there.
  • If you've run the Android VM that was knocking about a while back, you'll know that using a mouse to interact with an Android device is horrible.
    The long press and gesture method works fine for fingers, but when you've got a mouse in your hand, certain things happen without the concious mind getting in the way.
    TFA may be talking about mobile devices, but if any mobile OS is to take on the desktops, it needs to support traditional input methods.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Yeah 'cuz it's not like Microsoft is pushing tablet behavior on the desktop...oh wait....
    • by dhomstad (1424117)
      I was running GB on my gTablet, mouse worked just fine. I agree that they have to SOME support for traditional input methods, but it SEEMS that creating their own input methods & standardizing them could work just as fine. I feel your pain, but more in the area of physical keyboards. Swype is fun to use and everything, but as slashdotters have previously noted, it's not touch typing.
  • by MickyTheIdiot (1032226) on Thursday October 25, 2012 @03:08PM (#41769151) Homepage Journal

    Since Gartner is reporting anti-Windows news, count on it happening in 2 1/2 years!

    • Since Gartner is reporting anti-Windows news, count on it happening in 2 1/2 years!

      Has Gartner reported significant anti-Windows stuff before? I thought they fell into the Windows Über Alles camp...

    • by hendridm (302246)

      That's pretty optimistic, IMO. I'm thinking more like 2.6 years.

  • Does anyone know if Android, as it now stands, is ready for use on "real" computing devices (desktops and laptops)? In other words, is there any support built in for full multitasking, running apps in resizable and movable windows, a taskbar, and other essentials?

    If so, then Android could be a serious contender, especially if ported to x86. If not, then Android still needs work before it's ready for prime time on devices other than phones and tablets.

    I think Adobe may serve as a bellwether here. When/if a f

    • by AuMatar (183847)

      It will run on x86. But the features you're asking for? Nope, and they have no plans to- it's not what Android does, and it would totally break their activity lifecycle model. Its not meant to be a desktop OS. You could use it as one, but why?

    • by mjwx (966435)

      Does anyone know if Android, as it now stands, is ready for use on "real" computing devices (desktops and laptops)? In other words, is there any support built in for full multitasking, running apps in resizable and movable windows, a taskbar, and other essentials?

      Android the OS, yes. However the applications are not there and the hardware is firmly targeted at mobile devices.

      In 4.1 (4.0 on after market ROMs like Cyanogenmod) you have resizable windows (resizable widgets). The concept of running applications in windows (called Widgets) in Android and a Task bar (the notification bar) as well as full multitasking (background services) have been in there since Android 1.0.

      The problem towards using Android in the same fashion as Windows and Linux are two fold. The

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Pen and paper is also going to surpass windows by 2016.

    Windows 8 is such a fuckup microsoft is going to be lucky to exist by 2016.

  • 1) No, Android is not for the destkop... that's called Linux

    2) No, Gartner is just comparing the number of apples with the number of oranges.

    Move along...

    • They said computing devices. The defined computing devices as computers, tablets and smartphones. So yes Android is eating Microsoft's lunch. Which isn't surprising since Microsoft is not a player in the tablet and smartphone market.
  • by Just Some Guy (3352) <kirk+slashdot@strauser.com> on Thursday October 25, 2012 @03:24PM (#41769419) Homepage Journal

    First, this means that Gartner is admitting that people might like something other than Windows. Second, now it means that it won't actually happen.

    • People *always* wanted something different to Microsoft products...they're just too lazy or stupid to try something else.
  • One more data point showing that microsoft, the devices and services company, is becoming irrelevant.
  • by sl4shd0rk (755837) on Thursday October 25, 2012 @03:29PM (#41769497)

    M$ should be worried. Along with Apple and anyone else trying to keep their proprietary little death-grip on their market share. Android is turning up everywhere. It's becoming ubiquitous. You can find it on everything from smartphones to Televisions[0] to Refrigerators[1]. Why do you think Apple is going 'thermo nuclear' on Android? It's not just due to 'Rounded corners and rectangular design' it's because Android can be made to run on just about any home appliance imaginable -- and guess who makes a lot of home appliances (TVs, fridges, washing machines, etc) as well as smartphones? Now guess who doesn't?

    Apple and Microsoft PAY people extraordinary salaries to forecast market trends. They know where the industry is trending. And it ain't trending into Cupertino or Redmond at the moment -- at least not in the world outside of the US.

    [0] - http://www.digitaltrends.com/home-theater/android-powered-pocket-tv-turns-any-television-into-a-smart-tv/ [digitaltrends.com]

    [1] - http://www.technologyreview.com/view/425210/do-we-really-need-an-android-powered-fridge/ [technologyreview.com]

  • by Runesabre (732910) on Thursday October 25, 2012 @03:40PM (#41769671) Homepage

    For years we've been talking about "The Year for Linux on the Desktop". As veteran game developer, it's always boggled me how Linux, despite it's power, is so shortsighted when it comes to 3rd party support and distribution. 3rd part support and easy distribution along with backwards and forwards compatibility is what made Windows so dominate over the past 20 years. The typical solution bandied about by Linux users is "you can always distribute the source and recompile". Yes, that's what the average computer wants to do; fiddle around recompiling source code on their personal micro-flavor of Linux out of a sea of 100s of distros only to have it break again with the next 0.0.0.1 release of the underlying OS.

    What's telling to me is that now when you ask "What's the most popular Linux distro", you can arguably say "Android" and the reason Android has become so popular is because it easily supports 3rd party apps like a reasonable OS is expected. No fuss no muss. Just like Windows.

    Congratulations, Google, for finally taking Linux in the right direction.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Except android isn't really like any other linux distribution. Android uses the Linux kernel, but it doesn't use the gnu libraries, x-windows, and all the other supporting infra-structure of a typical linux distribution.

      Android is largely a linux kernel to support the hardware and multi-tasking, with a modified Java VM running the apps. That's quite different from what most would consider Linux. I still think it's great, and a wonderful alternative to the Windows stack, but grouping it with the other lin

    • by grcumb (781340)

      For years we've been talking about "The Year for Linux on the Desktop". As veteran game developer, it's always boggled me how Linux, despite it's power, is so shortsighted when it comes to 3rd party support and distribution. 3rd part support and easy distribution along with backwards and forwards compatibility is what made Windows so dominate over the past 20 years.

      I've read these sentences twice and see nothing even resembling insight in them.

      Backwards and especially forwards compatibility are useful aspects of Windows, yes. When they work. But the DLL Hell of the late '90s was one of the main factors that drove me away from Windows. One of the other main factors that drove me away was finding bugs in commercial (proprietary) software, notifying the developers and being told, "Yeah, we'll take a look at that for the next release cycle. Thanks!" The next release cycle

      • by Runesabre (732910)

        You're using the wrong value of 'you'. If you had explored Linux distributions in any detail at all, you'd know that the 'you' who does the recompile is the package maintainer. This means that the actual developer can simply maintain a stable code base and leave it to others to handle dependency issues on their particular platform. Which is as it should be, because each distro knows its own requirements better than any third party software developer could ever be expected to.

        I appreciate your thoughts. There are many aspects of Linux I like from a power user's perspective and even a developer's perspective. If I, as a developer, were maintaining an application such as Gimp, OpenOffice, MySQL or other tool-centric applications, I love the idea of just focusing on source code development and letting package maintainers handle the distribution and sort out the various distro differences.

        Where this breaks down is when I'm developing and supporting an application that can change f

  • Hence Windows 8 (Score:5, Interesting)

    by fm6 (162816) on Thursday October 25, 2012 @03:43PM (#41769701) Homepage Journal

    This is why 8 is so absurdly tablet-centric. If people are buying tablets instead of PCs, well, you can retain them as customers by shoehorning your PC OS into the new paradigm.

    What this strategy misses is the fact that people are not replacing their PCs with tablets. They still use PCs, but they don't upgrade them very often. So Windows doesn't have any special advantage as a tablet OS, and is unlikely to rival Android or iOS.

    • by Kwyj1b0 (2757125)

      What this strategy misses is the fact that people are not replacing their PCs with tablets. They still use PCs, but they don't upgrade them very often. So Windows doesn't have any special advantage as a tablet OS, and is unlikely to rival Android or iOS.

      I think what MS is counting on is interoperability. Sure, they have a tablet, and a desktop, and a phone. If you can make sure you can seamlessly (in an information sense) transition from one to another (desktop at home, tablet/phone on the road) and they all contain the same information (i.e. constant sync), then you would like it. Amazon does the same thing with its Kindle app - doesn't matter if I use a phone/PC/Kindle/Fire to read a book; they are all in sync.

      While the idea is good, they want to make t

      • by fm6 (162816)

        As your experience with the Kindle indicates, you don't need the same OS on all your platforms to do interoperability.

        So you like 8 on a dual monitor system? In what respects is it better than 7 with that same setup?

      • ...and they all contain the same information (i.e. constant sync)...

        Too bad my NAS holds 2TB of information, while my phone holds 2GB only. Once in a while, MS gets into a pipe dream, and they need decades to discover it can not be done.

  • ...when Netcraft confirms it.

  • Oh man... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Jintsui (2759005)
    I pulled a muscle I laughed so hard at this... Thank you for making my day...
  • by cockpitcomp (1575439) on Thursday October 25, 2012 @03:49PM (#41769791)
    Considering most phones last less than 2 years. How about comparing working devices?
  • Gartner's data shows that?!?! Can I please borrow your time machine? I need some data from the future too!!!

    "It's a fucking projection, damnit"

  • by nurb432 (527695)

    I doubt it, at least at a practical level. So what if there are 10x more phones than desktops? The real 'work' is still being done on windows and microsoft is still making tons of cash.

    Same goes for ARM, there may be more ARM chips out there but the desktop still may be owned by x86.

    Now id like to see both Microsoft and Intel go away and i bet in time this will happen, but im trying to be realistic too. 2016 is right around the corner, and i dont see that drastic of a change that fast.

  • Using the landscape of current mobile/desktop devices to predict anything more than 6 months away is ridiculous. Remember, around four years ago Android was released, (Sept 08 i think) and I would bet that not one analyst then made a remotely accurate prediction of today's mobile landscape.
  • Don't base numbers on a tendencies based on the last two years. In 2016, Android will be long gone and replaced 3 times.
    • by Osgeld (1900440)

      Android is not linux, its a virtual machine, yes most of the time android runs on a linux base, but if someone ported it to run on be-os you would never even know

  • They do realize Microsoft is making a big push into phone and tablet markets?

    Why do people consider Gartner a reliable source for stats? Its like: "Me sa say dat Windows no sella, me sa say Android sella more, me sa thinks no bombad changes for 4 years".

    Yes, I think the people of Gartner are retarded Gungans.

    • by narcc (412956)

      Yes, I think the people of Gartner are retarded Gungans.

      What are these Gungans that you speak of? There were no such monsters shitting all over a beloved franchise. You must have imagined them as being part of three movies that don't exist.

  • stating the obvious, I'd also guess that Apple will sell more hardware with MacOSX and derivatives (iOS) than there are MS Windows equipped devices, or UNIX(-like) systems will rule them all!

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