Google Android

A new claim from research firm Gartner suggests Google Android may finally overtake Microsoft Windows as the dominant operating system for computing devices by as early as 2016.

According to Gartner, this year alone is expected to end with an impressive 608 million devices running Android. This is nothing short of amazing when you consider that Google’s OS has only been around since 2008. How many Windows devices does the company predict for this year? About 1.5 billion, that is including Windows 8 PCs and tablets.

Okay, so we’ve seen massive Android growth in four years, does that really mean Google can jump above Microsoft in another four? While Android growth isn’t slowing down any time soon, it’s really hard to say for sure. For starters, we don’t truly know how the public will respond to Windows 8, RT and Windows Phone 8. If these new efforts from Microsoft don’t take off,  Google Android is pretty much guaranteed to eventually jump above Windows. On the other hand, Microsoft Surface and other Windows 8 efforts could slow this growth down a little.

How many devices does Gartner believe Android will have by 2016? The research firm seems to think there will be about 2.3 billion Android devices versus about 2.28 billion computing devices that will run Windows.

Keep in mind that analysts make predictions all the time. Some of these come true, some don’t. Gartner in particular is known for making pretty bold claims. Still, the evidence we’ve seen so far certainly adds some credence to this particular claim. Microsoft has yet to show us that they can truly be successful in the mobile sector. Unless the Redmond giant can convince consumers that they can in fact compete in the mobile world, Android’s market penetration will only continue to rise dramatically.

It is 2012 and the world has finally woke up to the realization that they don’t need Windows to enjoy the Internet or great applications. This doesn’t mean Windows or Microsoft is bad per say, it just means that they have to compete even harder if they want to stay relevant in a changing world or they will risk falling behind for good.

What do you think, is this prediction on the money or will Microsoft’s current efforts prove to be a major game-changer?

Andrew Grush
Andrew is one of the three Managing Editors of Android Authority, primarily responsible for the overseeing of US team of writers, in addition to several other projects such as VR Source and more. He loves tech, gaming, his family, and good conversations with like-minded folks.
  • Android overtake Windows? Yes! And pigs can fly too! The people at Gartner should change the medicaments they’ve been using!

    • Depends on how you count “computing devices”. Smartphones are computers too, y’know, and there’s going to be way more of them than laptops and very few smartphones run Windows.

  • Stian French

    Windows, don’t become a Blackberry.

  • Bruce Gavin Ward

    and now for something completely different: what would technological progress look like if manufacturers cooperated, and compared notes, and split up the work according to their specialties rather than doing it all themselves, in competition mode?

    • bob loblaw

      When I was younger I wished nintendo, sony, and microsoft would do the same. But in the end, competition creates innovation

    • I think we would see some really amazing stuff if there was a less vertical integration and more cooperation between the levels.

    • We would see innovation come to a standstill and prices skyrocket, and what do you think drives these companies? Without competition you have no other product you are trying to outdo and without competition the customer has no choice but to buy from you so you can charge what you want. I competition is the best thing for the consumer

    • Peterson Silva

      The “competition creates innovation” rabble-rabble is true – for the society we live in. Cooperation would create something much better, indeed, but in a different system. One of the consequences, as Christopher Linnett there points out, is monopoly.

  • I’m really impressed by MS Surface… they added almost whole PC functionality to it. In not so far future, you’ll probably be able to run even some really advanced programs like Photoshop. Android still isn’t even on path to it.

  • William

    Android is my very close 2nd after Windows, then Ubuntu followed by IOS.

    • William

      But I wouldn’t mind if Android jumped ahead of Windows.

  • NicholasMicallef

    meh, as much as I love Android devices, they don’t even begin to compete with a decent desktop PC in anything but portability.

    • ratnok

      That’s not the point. They don’t have to in order to be popular. Very few people need the power of a full PC, and very few people use Windows to the fullest.

      • NicholasMicallef

        Guess I’m one of the very few then xD.

  • Sooner.

  • ratnok

    The only thing that will stop Android from becoming the #1 computing operating system in the world is if Android is undone by patent lawsuits. 1.3 million per day proves it.

  • Zebelious

    As someone who always and still uses Microsoft Windows and products I only can blame Microsoft for this. When one become familiar with Android ecosystem then this is very evident why Microsoft have been losing market share gradually since five years ago. The evident is in the creation of digital content consumers that Microsoft failed to capitalise on. This type of consumers are bigger than business users and the developers kind all put together.

    Microsoft already had the technology and tools to have an early dominance and at one time they did with Windows Mobile. Google would never be able to compete in OS Desktop and their strategy to go mobile using Linux was a big blow to Microsoft. This is not entirely surprising as often the case the internal management battles for power and control become everyone’s number one priority instead of the company itself.

    To cut this post short, Microsoft’s only chance to maintain the majority of its dominance by offering full blown Windows on descent hardware at significant lower cost or the digital content consumers would continue choosing Android for its variety of pricing options. Additionally, to drop the Metro Design UX which is only popular with handful of users. Never mind 2016, in 2022 Microsoft could only compete in business sector if they fail to listen to what users are saying. Microsoft is in panic state and allowed itself to be controlled by bunch of people that think know what everyone wants.