Operating System Market Share - Bill Gates Is Still Alone at the Top!
Updated: March 28,2022
Think of all the tiny parts within your computer as a construction crew. Each of these parts has its role to play in the system. All members of the team specialize in something. But they wouldn’t accomplish anything meaningful without a capable manager to keep all parties in line and execute orders from the property owner. The operating system plays this management role. As electronics become more pervasive, diverse, and powerful, so do operating systems and the companies behind them. These operating system market share statistics will give you a sense of just how important a role the OS plays in each of your devices and how profitable this industry has become.
Desktop OS Statistics
When it comes to PCs, operating system market share history has been defined by one company: Microsoft. The first iteration of Windows was rolled out in 1985 and its latest version, Windows 10, was released 30 years later.
Will Microsoft maintain its stranglehold on the PC OS market? Read on to find out.
1. By December 2019, Microsoft Windows had a commanding operating system market share of 87.37%, which was vastly greater than the 10.10% held by macOS.
2. By the end of 2019, the vast majority of Windows users had finally migrated to the OS’s latest version, bringing Windows 10 market share to 65.4%.
3. Microsoft discontinued security updates for Windows 7 on January 14, 2020, to encourage the rest of its users to upgrade to Windows 10.
4. The operating system market share over time is set to change dramatically, as 76% of internet users are expected to access the web solely via smartphone as soon as 2025.
5. The desktop market share of any operating system is becoming a less significant statistic, with 3.7 billion people forecast to access the internet exclusively on their smartphone five years from now.
6. The laptop operating system market share in the US and the rest of the world is likely to lose some appeal in the eyes of tech execs, as only 69 million people will continue to exclusively use the internet via personal computer by 2025.
7. The projection that just 1.3 billion web users will access the internet via their PC five years from now should prompt tech business leaders to pay closer attention to mobile and tablet operating system market share figures.
8. Another phenomenon affecting the US operating system market share is that people now spend more time on smartphones (three hours and 22 minutes every day) than on PCs and tablets (three hours and 19 minutes per day).
9. Sales of personal computers have been falling over the past seven years, which has been hurting Microsoft’s industry relevance, even if its unrivaled desktop and laptop operating system market share says otherwise.
Mobile and Tablet OS Statistics
While personal computer operating system market share and distribution figures show that Microsoft is the undisputed king of the PC world, data for smartphones and tablets depicts a slighter tighter two-horse race. While Android and Apple are currently battling it out for top place, a third major rival from the East is making significant gains.
10. Android ended 2019 with a global operating system market share of 74.13%.
11. Pie 9.0 accounted for 41.9% of the Android operating system version market share in 2019.
12. Apple’s iOS entered 2020 with a worldwide smartphone operating system market share of 24.79%.
13. In 2019, the market share for the Android operating system in the US, an iPhone-worshiping country, went slightly above 40%.
14. In 2019, iOS’s cell phone operating system market share in the United States was 59.52%, giving Apple a 19.11% edge over Android.
15. In terms of market share and distribution in the tablet industry by operating system, Apple’s 40.33% lagged behind Google’s 59.66% in 2019.
16. In Q3 2019, Samsung claimed 21.8% of the mobile OS market share, while Apple held just 13% of the market.
17. According to a Gartner mobile operating system market share report, Huawei became the second-best selling smartphone vendor globally after capturing 13.3% of all sales in Q2 2018, relegating Apple (11.9%) to third place.
18. Huawei held 18.6% of the global smartphone market entering 2020; the Chinese brand remains one of the primary reasons for Android being the the world’s most used OS on smartphones.
(StatCounter, Android Authority)
19. Microsoft executives would have lost sleep over the shrinking market share of its mobile operating system, which slid to a paltry 0.05% in 2019 (from 0.10% in 2018). That’s why in December 2019 Microsoft abandoned its mobile OS altogether, embracing Android instead.
20. It’s projected that 2.4 billion individuals will still not own a smartphone by 2025, which suggests current phone operating system by market share numbers have plenty of room to grow.
Enterprise OS Statistics
The enterprise OS market might not be as big as its personal counterpart, but it is nevertheless hotly contested by three of the five major players. Which one will ultimately seize the largest enterprise operating system market share to secure its future in this arena?
21. In 2019, Windows was available in 47% of enterprise endpoints in Western Europe and North America.
22. Microsoft possesses a large chunk of the network operating system market share, but outdated personal operating systems - such as Windows Vista, Windows XP, and Windows 7 - are still found in almost 50% of enterprises.
(Techwalla, Bleeping Computer)
23. Apple’s iOS and Mac OS X might be in second and third places respectively, with operating system distribution rates of 23% and 17%, but those numbers combined make the California–based giant a serious threat to Microsoft’s throne.
Internet of Things (IoT) OS Statistics
IoT technology is the new frontier of electronics. However, all IoT devices have inherent restrictions, so they require operating systems specifically designed for them to function accordingly.
There’s little doubt that whichever company manages to tailor an OS perfectly to the needs of IoT OS will obtain and maintain a significant world operating system market share from here on out.
24. Eight in every 10 IoT gadgets run on Linux, which represents an incredible IoT operating system market share in a sector that is poised to grow to $1.7 billion by 2022.
(My Amend, MarketsandMarkets)
25. In 2018, Windows held an IoT operating system market share of 22.9%.
(IoT World Today)
26. A Gartner operating system market share report forecasts that the IoT market will explode to 5.8 billion endpoints across different industries in 2020.
Other OS Statistics
It’s worth remembering that, in 2020, it’s not just desktops and laptops that require an OS. There are also huge OS markets for smartphones, tablets, workstations, enterprises, servers, and other pieces of sophisticated hardware.
Statistics on network and enterprise server operating system market share are rather murky, but the numbers below represent the closest thing to a definitive list of such stats.
27. Nearly 73% of the global web server operating system market share belonged to Windows in June 2019.
28. In the server OS segment, Linux’s market share of 13.2% in Q2 2019 improved 0.03% year over year, at the expense of Unix.
29. 85% of enterprise users agree that Macs make them more productive; such a sentiment could boost the Mac OS market share in the long run.
30. The latest operating systems usage statistics reveal that Linux is used by 34.2% of websites.
31. Unix and Unix-like operating systems - at least 50% of which power Linux - make up 71.1% of the multiuser operating system market share.
32. Back in the fall of 2014, Linux had a market share of around 20% on Azure. From that point, Microsoft’s adoption helped accelerate the growth of Linux’s server operating system market share.
33. By the start of Q3 2019, Linux had solidified its operating system server market share by recording a usage rate of over 50% on Azure to overtake Microsoft’s very own OS.
34. Before successfully invading Windows Server territory last year, Linux already controlled 68% of the operating system and cloud computing market share in 2017.
Frequently Asked Questions
The unmatched personal computer operating system market share of Windows speaks volumes about Microsoft’s virtually unchallenged dominance in the field.
As a result, the company’s PC-centric OS has had control of more than 85% of the global laptop and desktop operating system market share for decades.
Android is the undisputed OS of choice for most of the world’s smartphone users.
As the world transitions from PC to mobile, Google, which holds the majority of the mobile device operating system market share, is in a good financial position to expand its influence as it branches out into non-tech industries.
Based on the combined market share of all operating systems by the end of 2019, Android owned 40.47% of the pie.
The mammoth Microsoft market share in the personal computer department was good enough to secure Windows the second spot with 34.2% for now.
Strictly speaking, yes. A decrease of less than 0.35% in the Windows market share is negligible, though.
But Microsoft’s PC operating system market share alone can’t maintain the level of influence it once enjoyed. Other tech giants like Google and Apple have done much better in the mobile device market, which is clearly the trend of the future.
Based on the unparalleled Windows OS market share, yes. However, Android holds the distinction of being the most used operating system across all platforms since June 2019.
The company Bill Gates co-founded lacked the foresight to develop an Android-like mobile OS when it had the chance, allowing Google to fill the void. After years of trying and failing to grow its mobile operating system market share, Microsoft is re-entering the smartphone race in partnership with Android.
As mentioned, 10.10% of desktop and laptop computers run on Apple’s macOS, while 28.97% of smartphones were running on iOS by the end of 2019.
Despite notoriously being the bridesmaid of both the PC and mobile markets, Apple controls some of the most popular operating systems in the world and is part of notable duopolies in key OS sectors.
macOS Catalina is the latest iteration of the company’s signature desktop/laptop OS. It overtook macOS Mojave as the owner of the highest computer operating system market share among Apple products, with 32.65% in December 2019.
Meanwhile, iOS 13 powers 13th-generation iPhone models: the iPhone Pro and the iPhone Pro Max.
Android-powered devices outsell iOS-based ones; Google’s consistently unbeatable mobile phone operating system market share worldwide does not lie.
Then again, a lot of individuals gravitate toward the iPhone because it can work seamlessly with other Apple products. Speed, intuitiveness, and support are some of the reasons why discerning techies tend to give iOS an excellent operating system rating.
No, for the Korean tech titan finished 2019 as the world’s most successful smartphone vendor.
The gap might widen sooner rather than later, as Apple’s smart phone market share and iOS usage stats are continuing to decrease in Western countries like the United Kingdom and Canada.
Android is the undisputed mobile OS leader worldwide.
Even if one looks at the current smartphone operating system market share by country, it’s clear that iOS is way behind in emerging markets like India, Indonesia, and Nigeria.
Google’s Android has the largest cell phone operating system market share in the world.
iOS controls just over a quarter of the market, with Android proving more than twice as successful.
Generally, two names compete for the largest server OS market share: Linux and Windows Server.
Each one has fundamental strengths and weaknesses, so either of these options could be perfect for enterprises with well-defined needs and goals.
Nearly nine in 10 PCs run on Microsoft’s OS.
While it is a fact that Windows is the operating system that has the largest market share and is on most desktop and laptop computers, there remains a kind of internal rivalry between the fairly new Windows 10 and the beloved Windows 7.
General Motors created the first operating system in 1956.
It was designed to power one IBM computer mainframe. This invention kicked off the race for the highest operating system market share. The rest is history.
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A true tech and gaming savant, Ivan has been fascinated by the digital world since the early days of gaming on antiques such as the ZX Spectrum and Commodore’s beloved Amiga. Whether you’re interested in the latest PC and console gaming news, antivirus software, or smartphone reviews, or simply want to learn about the newest geeky gadgets around, we at KT have you covered, and Ivan’s likely the one we’ll ask.