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With smartphones and tablets taking over the market, has the time finally come to proclaim, that Android has dethroned Windows?
In August 2005, pundits were all surprised by Google’s decision to buy Android, a lesser known company set up in Palo Alto, CA. Little did they know that in the years to come they would blow away the market and emerge as leaders in overall product share.
Coming to think of it, Android shares a lot of similarities with Windows. Except maybe the fact that the latter is well entrenched and have been around in the scenario since forever – 1995 to be exact. They both are playing catch up with a clear opponent, the Apple and its iOS, who have led the market with their brilliant innovation and a penchant for daring to do the unexpected.
Android and Windows have flexible and customized operating systems, which are sold through a 3rd party hardware manufacturers, so that they sell more units than Apple. And this has indeed been the case over the last few years. While, Apple is clearly the golden child with healthier profits, Android usurps almost 50% of the market share which has benefits in the long run, like the Microsoft theory proved with PCs.
Like the Windows of yesteryear, android has endless form factor diversities and OEMs. From the mighty HP and Lenovo laptops to small scale Chinese manufacturers, everybody prefers Android nowadays. If variety is a yard scale android is much ahead of Windows in its various hardware forms and also with regard to ‘apps’. Android is primarily an app creator, so it has an endless bounty of applications and utilities for customers of all generations. When it started, Windows did have a wide collection of apps, but as it grew in scale its focus on developing apps has meandered.
Both the former and current giants face the problem of OEMS trying to boost their own devices, by over skinning these platforms. This has to some degree decreased its everyday functionality. Similar to the problems faced by Windows a while back, Android is being made sitting duck for all malware targets. This can be attributed to increased market share (50%) and its own failure to convince customers to upgrade to jellybean from gingerbread.
Another striking similarity between Windows and Android is that unlike Apple, both provide high end massive screened ultra-complex software and a lower end cheaper version for the common man also. This type of immense flexibility from Android and Windows’ increasingly ill prophesied move to become more rigid to create their own ‘ecosystem’ ( which Apple already has done comprehensively) has led to the unparalleled growth of Android. Cellphone market saw an increase in Android share from 52.5% to a mind numbing 72.4%.
It is true that Windows’ PCs are still selling and Apple makes mighty profits. Still has Windows’ own history has shown market share translates into longevity in the long run. Android will be the leader in the next 10-15 years.