What is the most used operating system in the world?

An operating system (OS) is the heart of an intelligent electronic device, fundamental to its functioning. Between cell phones and computers, there are many options for the user to choose from, but some stand out for the huge base of people using them every day.

Do you have any idea which OS is the most used nowadays? And which software completes the top 3 podium? A small spoiler: Microsoft, Apple and Google are among the companies with the most popular solutions in the world.

To arrive at the result, the Canaltech turned to a survey by StatCounter, considered one of the largest technology data collection company in the world. The data refer to July 2022, so something may have changed from then on, but the positions in the ranking will hardly change in such a short time.

This is because the placed ones are relatively far from each other. An eventual rise or fall in the list could take years to consolidate, in addition to requiring the launch of major updates or innovative products, which has not occurred in the last seven months.

List of the most used operating systems in the world

6. Linux (1.02% of the market)

Ubuntu is one of the most popular variants of Linux (Image: Reproduction/OMG! Ubuntu!)

Darling for developers, the Linux and its thousands of variants barely exceeds the 1% mark of the market. It is worth remembering that this count only considers distributions, not including Android and Chrome OS, both based on the open source system, but maintained as products with their own development.

Famous operating systems such as Ubuntu, Mint, Fedora, OpenSuse and Debian were included in this list, as well as others less known to the general public. Linux also serves as the basis for servers and databases, hence its popularity in the technological environment.

Even with so much applicability in people’s daily lives, it is still considered a difficult system to deal with, especially for novices, and with little application support. Linux relies heavily on software called open sourcethat is, free and open source, which do not always offer as much versatility or resources as the programs packaged by large companies.

5. Unknown/others (2.29%)

Developed on the UNIX base, NomadBSD is an example of an alternative system to Linux, Windows and macOS (Image: Reproduction/FreeBSD)

The “other unknown” category encompasses all software not listed here. It would be impossible to carry out a survey that contained all the OS in the world, after all, many are born and die every month, either due to lack of investment, users or the developer’s will.

These are systems that do not have a foundation built on Linux solutions or paid companies like Microsoft and Apple. Examples of systems that go in here include FreeBSD, Solaris, DOS, and KolibriOS, as well as systems built for home appliances, industrial machines, and other professional uses.

Chrome OS, the system that ships Chromebooks, may also be included here, as the search did not reserve space for Google’s software. Even though it is based on open source, Chrome OS has the biggest advantage in its lightness, which makes it possible to work on machines with limited resources. It’s worth noting, though, that Chrome OS is built on top of the Gentoo Linux distribution.

The StatCounter list also catalogs in this category those OSes that could not be identified by the search for whatever reason. Even so, it is an irrelevant number compared to the podium of this ranking, with high percentages in which 2.29% would not make much difference.

4. macOS (5.37%)

macOS is the top 2, ahead of iOS and Android (Image: Playback/Apple)

Piggybacking on the popularity of iPhones, Apple has become even more famous in the desktop and notebook computer segment. Macbooks, as they are called, come standard with the operating system macOSthe fourth most popular on the planet.

The advantage of macOS is its integration with other Apple products and services, making it easy to exchange information and files between different devices. In addition, there is a great variety of compatible applications and games, a great incentive for those who want to adopt Apple for good.

Like iOS, macOS is a very stable system, rarely affected by viruses and constantly innovating, as if it were a service. Instead of having to buy a new license every year, just have an Apple computer to guarantee free updates and constant improvements as long as the device has compatible technical requirements.

3. iOS (17.85%)

iOS is already the third most popular operating system in the world (Image: Playback/Apple)

Even with just a single manufacturer, Apple’s operating system is a bronze medalist when it comes to popularity. Apple’s proprietary software ships with the company’s cell phones since the first iPhone and now occupies more than 17% of the market.

iOS is ahead of Android in some countries and is extremely popular in the United States, the country with the largest installed base. In Europe, the fight is a little more fierce, but some countries on the Old Continent also have a great affinity with Apple’s software.

Perhaps, one of the biggest obstacles to the growth of iOS is the price of Apple products, considered expensive by the world. For being exclusive and not having much penetration in poorer countries, iOS remains untouched in third place, a result more than satisfactory for the coffers of the Cupertino giant.

2. Windows (27.92%)

Windows is the most popular system in the world, well ahead of competitors because it runs on most PCs and notebooks (Image: Reproduction/Samsung)

Windows is by far the king of desktop operating systems, but it is second only to mobile phones and tablets. The rise of Apple and Google is something that bothers Microsoft, mainly because the company has nothing to compete with in the mobile market.

The list considers all available versions of the system created by Bill Gates, such as Windows 11, Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7 and even older ones, like XP and Vista, still present on some machines. Much of the OS’s success comes from its tradition in the market, embedded in most computers since the 1980s.

Although it is a software released in temporal cycles, with the need to acquire licenses by users, Windows remains the darling of the market. The system was and still is heavily affected by piracy, but it also values ​​lightness, two of the reasons that reinforce its popularity.

The main differentiator is the wide range of compatibility with applications, games and virtually any third-party software. It is unimaginable these days for a company or developer to create PC software without Windows as the main platform. Thus, the system may take some to lose the top 2 spot in the segment, if that ever happens.

1. Android (44.66%)

Android is a popular system that runs on many high-end, intermediate and entry-level phones (Image: Matheus Bigogno/Canaltech)

The first position is occupied by Google’s operating system for mobile phones and tablets. Android, another system built on top of the Linux kernel, outlasted all rivals a few years ago and has since remained unabated at the top, more than 18 percentage points ahead of second-place Windows.

O android operates on an open source basis, which allows users and developers to make modifications to deliver a custom interface with unique features. In general, phone manufacturers like Samsung, Motorola and Xiaomi make their own alternatives to pure Android.

One of the advantages is the lightness of the system, which makes it run on virtually any device. The most modern versions are created with new features that demand more from cell phones, but still need few technical requirements to work, which is why most manufacturers use Android embedded in the devices.

In addition, the little robot is still the heart of countless smart devices, such as miniature computers, television receivers, handheld video games and the like.

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