It seems that mobile operating systems are surpassing traditional desktop applications in Internet usage market share. This can be good for users and companies alike.
Paul Rubens writes, “Android surpassed Microsoft’s Windows® in March to become the most popular operating system on the Internet, according to figures compiled by GlobalStats, the research arm of Web analytics company StatCounter.
“GlobalStats found that, worldwide, Android had a 37.93 percent Internet usage market share, just ahead of Windows at 37.91 percent. ‘This is a milestone in technology history and the end of an era,’ said Aodhan Cullen, StatCounter’s CEO. ‘It marks the end of Microsoft’s leadership worldwide of the OS market which it has held since the 1980s. It also represents a breakthrough for Android, which held just 2.4 percent of global Internet usage share only 5 years ago.’
“Cullen may be overstating the significance of the findings somewhat because, allowing for a margin of error, Windows could still be top dog on the Internet. But really that is beside the point, which is that mobile operating systems have come from nowhere in 5 years, and desktop computing in general is in relative decline.
“If mobile computing is set to dominate, is there any point in making desktop versions of enterprise applications? Shouldn’t developers be thinking almost exclusively in terms of building mobile applications—albeit ones that can be accessed from a desktop machine if it’s really necessary, either through a Web interface or by porting some or all of the functionality of the mobile app to Windows?”