Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 3rd Apr 2017 16:28 UTC
Android

The research arm of StatCounter, the independent web analytics company, finds that in March, Android topped the worldwide OS internet usage market share with 37.93%, which puts it marginally ahead of Windows  (37.91%) for the first time.

"This is a milestone in technology history and the end of an era," commented Aodhan Cullen, CEO, StatCounter, "It marks the end of Microsoft's leadership worldwide of the OS market which it has held since the 1980s. It also represents a major breakthrough for Android which held just 2.4% of global internet usage share only five years ago."

Quite a fast rise to power.

This means Linux (read this!) now dominates everything from HPC down to mobile and embedded. Who knew that while everyone was off making jokes about "the year of desktop Linux", Linus' little kernel became the motor under the hood of the mobile computing revolution. The first computer for vast swaths of people all over the world runs something not from Microsoft or Apple - but from a huge, worldwide community of developers.

And that's kind of nice.

Order by: Score:
Linux?
by nicubunu on Mon 3rd Apr 2017 16:48 UTC
nicubunu
Member since:
2014-01-08

Android is "sort of" Linux and in Fuchsia light it may not be even that in a while.
On the other hand, Windows will probably be in big trouble when (not if) docks like Samsung DeX will become common even for midrange phones.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Linux?
by chithanh on Tue 4th Apr 2017 10:10 UTC in reply to "Linux?"
chithanh Member since:
2006-06-18

Android is very much Linux, same that OpenWrt is Linux or the operating system that runs in your TV or washing machine is Linux.

It isn't GNU/Linux though, and it does differ a lot from Ubuntu and other desktop distributions. But those are just a tiny part of Linux.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Linux?
by ssokolow on Tue 4th Apr 2017 10:44 UTC in reply to "RE: Linux?"
ssokolow Member since:
2010-01-21

To be honest, I'm so sick of being irritated by people who jump in to correct me about how it's GNU/Linux (blindly following authority, without understanding the myriad holes and fudge-factors in Stallman's argument) that, when I want to refer to the platform, I use glibc/Linux over GNU/Linux.

(A more accurate descriptor anyway, given that devices which straddle the line between embedded constraints and general purpose use like my OpenPandora generally run glibc+busybox for their userland.)

...and I'll be VERY glad when musl-libc gains enough glibc ABI compatibility for me to do my development and GOG.com gaming on a Linux+musl+busybox+clang system so I can fire back with "No, there isn't a single GNU component in it".

Edited 2017-04-04 10:48 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Linux?
by chithanh on Tue 4th Apr 2017 11:45 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Linux?"
chithanh Member since:
2006-06-18

musl libc is a niche on desktops. While you can run it, and it works fine for most stuff that you compile yourself (Gentoo provides musl stages), full glibc ABI compatibility is not even a goal last I checked.

Desktop Linux will remain almost exclusively GNU/Linux, until Android takes over the desktop in the form of smartphones connecting to keyboard/mouse/monitor.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Linux?
by ssokolow on Tue 4th Apr 2017 16:11 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Linux?"
ssokolow Member since:
2010-01-21

Full glibc compatibility? Of course not.

But, as I understand it, "LSB-compatible ABI: incomplete" in their comparison chart indicates that they at least see partial glibc compatibility as valuable.

I'm just hoping they go far enough to meet my needs.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Linux?
by bassbeast on Fri 7th Apr 2017 07:13 UTC in reply to "Linux?"
bassbeast Member since:
2007-11-11

Android is most certainly NOT Linux, unless Linux is a proprietary OS owned by a megacorp with more and more critical systems put under corporate control...

https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2013/10/googles-iron-grip-on-android...

And according to RMS it sure as hell isn't FOSS and its license makes it non free software..

https://www.gnu.org/philosophy/android-and-users-freedom.en.html

So if Android is "winning" WTH do you consider a loss? Because from where I'm sitting it looks like you traded one corporate master for a frankly worse one, because say what you will about MSFT they didn't start spying on users until Google showed them what mad money they could make by spying on users with Android/Chrome/Gmail/etc.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by ilovebeer
by ilovebeer on Mon 3rd Apr 2017 16:51 UTC
ilovebeer
Member since:
2011-08-08

"Who knew that while everyone was off making jokes about "the year of desktop Linux", Linus' little kernel became the motor under the hood of the mobile computing revolution."

Android dominating the mobile space has no impact what-so-ever on the long-time running joke that `this is the year of the Linux desktop`. Nothing has changed where the desktop is concerned and that joke is just as applicable now as it ever has been. Maybe that will change some day but today isn't that day.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Comment by ilovebeer
by No it isnt on Mon 3rd Apr 2017 17:07 UTC in reply to "Comment by ilovebeer"
No it isnt Member since:
2005-11-14

Since the Year of Linux as a web client was the biggest stumbling block towards the Year of Linux on the desktop, I think this is rather significant. Back when TYOLOTD was a thing (1998), it was next to impossible because the web was mainly IE only, and fast becoming worse.

Not that the web has been a big problem since Firefox came good a decade or so ago, it's just that web designers will get fired if their stuff doesn't work on Chrome from now on.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Comment by ilovebeer
by leech on Mon 3rd Apr 2017 17:53 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by ilovebeer"
leech Member since:
2006-01-10

I ran into a page today that the coding absolutely wouldn't work in Firefox, and only worked in Chromium (I don't have Chrome installed at the moment).

One at my work does the same thing (doesn't authenticate properly if you're using Firefox).

But on the bright side, Netflix now works in Firefox!

The whole 'year of the Linux Desktop' is silly anyhow, I much prefer the Linux Destkops over macOS and Windows any day of the week.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Comment by ilovebeer
by WorknMan on Mon 3rd Apr 2017 17:56 UTC in reply to "Comment by ilovebeer"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

Android dominating the mobile space has no impact what-so-ever on the long-time running joke that `this is the year of the Linux desktop`.


Yeah, I think the reason why Linux the kernel succeeded in a big way is because there are people actually steering that ship in a unified direction, vs. the complete clusterfuck that Linux the desktop has been, where there's people pulling it in a hundred different directions.

Mind you, I expect that Linux will make quite a bit more progress on the desktop... in the form of ChromeOS.

Reply Score: 6

Truly hurts...
by dionicio on Mon 3rd Apr 2017 17:13 UTC
dionicio
Member since:
2006-07-12

What should be a global effort, keep being -substantially- USA's. If only for security wiseness.

Reply Score: 3

Comment by ssokolow
by ssokolow on Mon 3rd Apr 2017 18:21 UTC
ssokolow
Member since:
2010-01-21

You are aware, I hope, that, when most people say "Linux", they're actually using it as a collective shorthand for Linux-based platforms which additionally provide the glibc+X11 ABI. (possibly specifically for x86-compatible architectures, if they've got "my Steam/GOG/etc. library" as their benchmark for compatibility.)

Aggressively refusing to acknowledge that intention just needlessly antagonizes people.

It's like arguing that iOS and OSX are one and the same, just because they both use the Darwin kernel under the hood... Linux just has an extra layer of terminological confusion.

TL;DR: For most people, Android isn't "Linux" because it doesn't run "Linux applications". (And adding a chroot to make it run them doesn't make it "Linux" any more than adding Wine makes Linux into Windows or adding WSL makes Windows into Linux.)

Edited 2017-04-03 18:24 UTC

Reply Score: 7

RE: Comment by ssokolow
by tidux on Mon 3rd Apr 2017 18:24 UTC in reply to "Comment by ssokolow"
tidux Member since:
2011-08-13

No, Linux is just the kernel. If you want to refer to the desktop, say GNU/Linux on x86 (and ARM, if you count RPi desktops).

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by ssokolow
by ssokolow on Mon 3rd Apr 2017 18:27 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by ssokolow"
ssokolow Member since:
2010-01-21

I'm not the one you have to convince. Go convince all the people who don't know enough to already know this.

They're the ones who get frustrated at what they perceive as "Snobby know-it-alls trying to redefine their complaints out of existence."

...and, as one tip from a UI/UX specialist: Whatever name you pick will have to have three or fewer syllables or it'll never catch on.

(This is one reason it's hard enough to get people to recognize that not all Linux is "Ubuntu". People intuitively latch onto the shortest thing they perceive as a unique identifier within a too-long name. Hence things like "OSX".)

Edited 2017-04-03 18:33 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by ssokolow
by Thom_Holwerda on Mon 3rd Apr 2017 18:41 UTC in reply to "Comment by ssokolow"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

This is OSNews. All of us know that Linux is.

I have always taken a stance against people saying "Android isn't Linux" just because it doesn't have an arbitrary set of userland tools.

Reply Score: 7

RE[2]: Comment by ssokolow
by ssokolow on Mon 3rd Apr 2017 18:45 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by ssokolow"
ssokolow Member since:
2010-01-21

The fundamental issue is "Linux != Linux".

Two different groups of people with two disjoint but internally consistent definitions of "Linux" and so saying "Android is Linux" has come to carry an antagonizing connotation similar to saying "all lives matter" in response to "black lives matter".

Or, to put it another way, "You can't possibly be so un-perceptive as to not know what I meant, so I can only assume that your continued insistence on the wrong interpretation of my statement is meant to antagonize me."

Edited 2017-04-03 18:47 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by ssokolow
by dpJudas on Tue 4th Apr 2017 02:05 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by ssokolow"
dpJudas Member since:
2009-12-10

This is OSNews. All of us know that Linux is.

I have always taken a stance against people saying "Android isn't Linux" just because it doesn't have an arbitrary set of userland tools.

While Android naturally runs the Linux kernel, it is sufficiently different from desktop Linux that an app developer needs to treat it as a completely new target.

People always overstate the importance of the kernel. What truly matters is userland - both for the users and the app developers. For example, I can build a classic Win32 application both for Windows 95 and Windows 10 with very little effort, assuming I stick to the classic GDI and Win32 technologies (*). And that's despite a kernel change, 32 bit to 64 bit architecture changes, etc.

On the other hand, I can reuse very little code from a desktop Linux program on Android. Display is different, sound is different, the primary API's are all different. The only thing I have left that is shared is posix compatibility - but at this point the code I can reuse is about the same as if I tried to target macOS instead.

*) Targeting Metro/UWP is an entirely different matter. It is barely Windows as far as I'm concerned. It is like going from Carbon to Cocoa, same kernel, but otherwise a complete UI rewrite.

Reply Score: 7

RE[3]: Comment by ssokolow
by greblus on Tue 4th Apr 2017 08:34 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by ssokolow"
greblus Member since:
2006-06-06


While Android naturally runs the Linux kernel, it is sufficiently different from desktop Linux that an app developer needs to treat it as a completely new target.

Not really. With Qt5 on Android it's quite easy to reuse the same code for all platforms and I personally find QAndroidJniObject as a great tool to access Android-specific features written in Java. I've ported Qt application which is now using usb-serial-for-android for serial communication, plus the Android BT stack, all handled through QAndroidJniObject and to my surprise it's very fast (serial port works better than on a regular Windows PC).

Of course if your program is using some specific set of libraries (Windows-only, etc) then porting it will take more time, but it's definitely worth it IMO. It's also easy to compile and run Linux console apps on Android.

Reply Score: 0

RE[4]: Comment by ssokolow
by moondevil on Tue 4th Apr 2017 11:07 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by ssokolow"
moondevil Member since:
2005-07-08

Try to use QFileDialog on Android.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Comment by ssokolow
by greblus on Tue 4th Apr 2017 18:26 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by ssokolow"
greblus Member since:
2006-06-06

Try to use QFileDialog on Android.


True ;) it's terrible. But still, it's easy to use native fileselector through QAndroidJniObject...

http://www.scorchworks.com/Blog/simple-file-dialog-for-android-appl... or similar (Android doesn't have a standard fileselector anyway, unless something has changed recently).

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by ssokolow
by Mukti on Tue 4th Apr 2017 11:53 UTC in reply to "Comment by ssokolow"
Mukti Member since:
2017-04-04

Yes, iOS, OSX, and Darwin are XNU.

On the other hand, Android, Chrome, and Ubuntu are Linux. And none of them use X11 !
(Chrome uses Freon, & Ubuntu uses Wayland)

Edited 2017-04-04 11:55 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by ssokolow
by TheRealKMan on Tue 4th Apr 2017 23:25 UTC in reply to "Comment by ssokolow"
TheRealKMan Member since:
2016-12-20

You are aware, I hope, that, when most people say "Linux", they're actually using it as a collective shorthand for Linux-based platforms which additionally provide the glibc+X11 ABI. (possibly specifically for x86-compatible architectures, if they've got "my Steam/GOG/etc. library" as their benchmark for compatibility.)


Those people are wrong, and should be silenced.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Comment by ssokolow
by ssokolow on Wed 5th Apr 2017 08:39 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by ssokolow"
ssokolow Member since:
2010-01-21

Then get back to me when you've made progress on that.

I'm a realist. (I'm a UI/UX specialist. I have to be.)

Reply Score: 2

Windows
by zetsurin on Mon 3rd Apr 2017 21:04 UTC
zetsurin
Member since:
2006-06-13

2018: The year of Windows on the desktop!

Reply Score: 5

RE: Windows
by Sauron on Mon 3rd Apr 2017 21:31 UTC in reply to "Windows"
Sauron Member since:
2005-08-02

2018: The year of Windows on the desktop!

Not until they get rid of that Windows 10 crap. That alone has driven plenty of folk away and will continue to.

Reply Score: 6

RE[2]: Windows
by tidux on Tue 4th Apr 2017 00:16 UTC in reply to "RE: Windows"
tidux Member since:
2011-08-13

I've seen even random AAA-gaming weeaboos on Twitter bitching about Win10 and contemplating Linux. The second you can reliably run Steam and DX12 games in WINE, Win10 is fucking done.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Windows
by kurkosdr on Tue 4th Apr 2017 17:54 UTC in reply to "Windows"
kurkosdr Member since:
2011-04-11

2018: The year of Windows on the desktop!


I think you meant Year Of The Windows Phone (it was a common joke a couple of years ago, much like Year of the Linux Desktop)

Remember a couple of years ago, when we used to hear from Windows fanboys that Windows Phone 7 or 8 (depending on year) will totally go mainstream this year, every year, despite trailing Android when it comes to applications and hardware?

To me, they looked like bizarro-world Desktop Linux fanboys who would promise that this year Desktop Linux will go mainstream on the desktop, every year.

Of course, in both cases, the market doesn't really care. For them, an OS is nothing but a piece of software they:
a) have to tolerate
b) makes their hardware power on
c) runs their apps

In fact, I like how Microsoft, Apple and Google all try to dominate every form factor, yet the market has collectively flipped the bird to all three and has decided: Google for phones, Apple for tablets, Microsoft for desktops and laptops (with a side of Apple), and unless the offerings change, the market doesn't care about changing.

Edited 2017-04-04 18:03 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Linux is not what the users see!
by BlueofRainbow on Mon 3rd Apr 2017 22:03 UTC
BlueofRainbow
Member since:
2009-01-06

Let's see:

Android is the user interface running on the Linux kernel for smartphones and tablets.

Chrome OS is the user interface running on the Linux kernel for information and entertainment web-based appliances (boxes and notebooks).

The users of these systems do not really see the underlying Linux unless they desire to break-away from the constraints of what they have purchased.

As for the year year of the Linux desktop, this may have to wait until Chrome OS becomes the dominant one seen on the web.....

Reply Score: 2

I would somehow rejoice
by dvhh on Tue 4th Apr 2017 03:30 UTC
dvhh
Member since:
2006-03-20

If I didn't know that the most of them are outdated and insecure.

Reply Score: 2

Take notice:
by SitrucKram on Tue 4th Apr 2017 03:46 UTC
SitrucKram
Member since:
2013-12-02

Office programs require a compatbility layer to run on Desktop Linux. OSX, Windows, Android, iOS all support the latest and greatest Office suite in some capacity.

If Linux is able to run Excel natively, the deal is done.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Take notice:
by ahferroin7 on Tue 4th Apr 2017 12:30 UTC in reply to "Take notice:"
ahferroin7 Member since:
2015-10-30

First off, you mean 'Microsoft Office', not generic 'Office' That's a very important distinction, as there are plenty of non-MS, generic 'Office' programs that run natively on Linux.

That aside, this is more an issue of people being lazy and fearing change than software incompatibility. Gnumeric and LibreOffice/OpenOffice Calc (among others) both cover about 95% of what most people actually use in Excel, and their interfaces are functionally identical for more than half of what people use Excel for, but people refuse to even try them because they're afraid of change or don't want to even try to learn something new.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Take notice:
by SitrucKram on Tue 4th Apr 2017 13:34 UTC in reply to "RE: Take notice:"
SitrucKram Member since:
2013-12-02

I was too lazy to distinguish, yet, you knew exactly what I meant.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Take notice:
by kurkosdr on Tue 4th Apr 2017 17:59 UTC in reply to "RE: Take notice:"
kurkosdr Member since:
2011-04-11

That aside, this is more an issue of people being lazy and fearing change than software incompatibility. Gnumeric and LibreOffice/OpenOffice Calc (among others) both cover about 95% of what most people actually use in Excel


Yeah, yeah, that's why most people stopped using Microsoft Office and... oh wait, this never happened.

Does LibreOffice or OpenOffice Calc do OOXML perfectly? No? Then this is the killer 5% keeping most people away, because they need to, you know, collaborate with other people using the dominant software suite. No, the market doesn't care if OOXML is evil an such, their boss sends them an xlsx, and they need to open it losslessly and trouble-free.

Calc also has the problem it is slow, and most people use Excel as a mini-database with functional programming queries, and they want it to be fast. But let's just focus on OOXML which is easier to argue. No OOXML --> doesn't cover most people's needs.

There is a small intesection in the Venn diaram between "people who need more than Google docs" and "people who do not need OOXML", but it is kinda small.

Edited 2017-04-04 18:02 UTC

Reply Score: 1

Comment by Sidux
by Sidux on Tue 4th Apr 2017 06:21 UTC
Sidux
Member since:
2015-03-10

It's interesting to see if most of Internet usage that was measured comes from dedicated applications or simply their website versions.
It's usually more easy for people to tap an icon on a screen which says <name service here> instead of going through bookmarks or typing in http links.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by Sidux
by Lennie on Tue 4th Apr 2017 06:56 UTC in reply to "Comment by Sidux"
Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

This is a website statistics company.

So I would assume this is: more people use Android to check website than on Windows.

Reply Score: 2

Nice?
by fmaxwell on Tue 4th Apr 2017 09:15 UTC
fmaxwell
Member since:
2005-11-13

And that's kind of nice.


What would be really nice would be for BSD derivatives, including iOS, MacOS, to overtake Linux.

I don't like lawsuits deciding winners and losers in the technical arena and that's what happened here. The two year legal battle known as UNIX System Laboratories, Inc. v. Berkeley Software Design, Inc. stunted adoption of BSD by creating doubts about BSD's legal future. It created an opening that allowed the upstart, and technically inferior, Linux to gain ground. So we ended up with something that was largely developed by a student in Finland rather than a port of AT&T Unix by a team of professional computer scientists at a major American university.

The old saying is very true:

BSD is what you get when a bunch of UNIX hackers sit down to try to port a UNIX system to the PC. Linux is what you get when a bunch of PC hackers sit down and try to write a UNIX system for the PC.

Reply Score: 2

One of the worst "witty comments" by Thom
by avgalen on Tue 4th Apr 2017 11:35 UTC
avgalen
Member since:
2010-09-23

Normally I can appreciate the witty comment that Thom puts under an article summary, but not this time. His inclusion of "Year of the Linux Desktop" completely missed the actual topic and derailed the comments. The topic is "Android topped the worldwide OS internet usage market share with 37.93%"

Of course StatCounter only cares about internet usage, so they extrapolate browsing to "It marks the end of Microsoft's leadership worldwide of the OS market". Of course in reality an OS is used for a whole lot more than just browsing.

Now the problem I have with Thoms comments are as follows:

This means Linux (read this!) now dominates everything from HPC down to mobile and embedded.
Linux has done that for a long time! Doing 0.02% more browsing then Windows has nothing to do with dominating "everything"
Who knew that while everyone was off making jokes about "the year of desktop Linux", Linus' little kernel became the motor under the hood of the mobile computing revolution.
Everyone knew!
The first computer for vast swaths of people all over the world runs something not from Microsoft or Apple - but from a huge, worldwide community of developers.

No, it is running something from Google. It took the power of this massive company to steer Linux towards becoming Android without keeping most of the things that make Linux Linux. The major thing being the drivers that are different for Android so they don't get pushed back to Linux and cause the "Android-Upgrade-issue". Android could be changed to use another kernel than Linux in the future and users and developers wouldn't notice.

And that's kind of nice.

Having a web that works well on Android phones, iOS tablets, Windows laptops/desktops and many other variations is nice indeed!

Linux is a major success, but let's be realistic. It is not driven by a "huge, worldwide community of developer hobbiest". It is driven almost entirely by companies that contribute development time both for their own interest AND "the greater good"

Reply Score: 3

Just underwriting...
by dionicio on Tue 4th Apr 2017 21:37 UTC
dionicio
Member since:
2006-07-12

The Stat has meaning only about www browsing.

Reply Score: 2

cato_minor
Member since:
2006-02-13

All the comments about kernel vs OS are not at all what bothers me about "Android is Linux". From a user perspective*, there is a fundamental difference between classic distributions, no matter whether you prefer to call them GNU/Linux or just Linux, and Android:

I can take any laptop / x86 computer built in the last ten years, and I will nearly always succeed installing the current version of the distribution on it. With a manually cut-down or a specialised distribution, that extends even to computers built in the last 20 years. Sure, maybe this one device won't work, or it's too slow for a particular use case.

Not only will the distribution run, but I'm root and I'm _supposed_ to be root. I have full control about the components, the packages, the file system, and the environment, including updates and upgrades. That's what I'm thinking of when I hear "Linux distribution".

Now compare that to the Android situation. Linux kernel, sure. User freedom? Much much less.

*) that is, from the perspective of a stingy / poor / ecological user who wants to use his devices until the hardware breaks or they get stolen.

Reply Score: 2

Two wrongs do not a right make
by agami on Thu 6th Apr 2017 07:01 UTC
agami
Member since:
2015-09-24

I never thought I'd see the day. Sure, as a person who's been alive since the dawn of personal computing (2nd computer revolution) I have seen many technologies take a critical mass position despite their technical shortcomings: VHS vs Beta, intel vs Motorola, CISC vs RISC, Windows vs AmigaOS/MacOS/BeOS, monolithic kernel vs micro kernel. The recurring theme seems to be that most people don't know what's good for them in the long run and focus on short-term gains.

But I never thought I'd see the day that Windows would be outWindowsed. And there's undoubtedly a whole bunch of people excited at the prospect that one crappy, holding-the-human-race-back product is outdoing a former status-quo-enforcing product. The bar must indeed be set very low.

Reply Score: 1

The Penguinista Liberation Front
by hackus on Fri 7th Apr 2017 11:42 UTC
hackus
Member since:
2006-06-28

Muahahahaha....<=Evil Laugh

Our comrades. Victory in the war against the enemy of all free Operating Systems is now within our grasp!!!

Join me as I order a steak tomorrow and recline in a fine dining atmosphere with my fellow penguin surrounded by couples who think I and my laptop OS have it "going on"!!!

Oh yes!!! My fellow comrades this victory in the war against Microsoft is a cause for celebration!!

Die Microsoft. Die die die...

Muahaha hahahaha ha. Ha. Ha! <=VERY Evil Laugh.

Reply Score: 2