What is the Operating System Market Share?

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Operating systems are software applications that allow computer software and hardware to interact and communicate. They control all complex processes and are the basis for any computing device in existence in this World now.

Operating systems are increasingly needed to handle services like memory management, file management, process management, handling input and output, and controlling hardware like printers and disc drivers, given the growing use and scope of computing devices, whether they take the form of personal or desktop computers, mobile computers, or Internet of Things (IoT) devices. Gartner estimates released in January 2020 show that roughly 70.6 million personal computers were shipped globally in 2019. Additionally, 261.2 million computer systems were shipped globally in 2019.

The operating systems market is made up of companies selling operating systems (organizations, sole traders, and partnerships). Only items and services exchanged between parties or sold to final customers are covered.

The market share of Operating Systems is the percentage of computer devices running each operating system at any one moment. Due to the difficulty in obtaining operating system share statistics, such figures must inevitably be considered estimates. There are hardly many trustworthy primary sources and no established techniques for gathering them.

In order to compare the usage shares of OS systems across the majority of device types used by individuals as well as between the same types of devices, web access statistics are employed. This is because web is accessed by most device types that people interact with.

Which Operating System Has the Most Market Share?

Windows, Mac OS, Linux, Android, iOS and some other operating systems are the most popular ones and are used in computers and mobile devices. Both business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) channels are used for distribution.

With a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.4%, the operating systems market expanded from 43.14billionin2021to43.14 billion in 2021 to 45.04 billion in 2022. At least temporarily, the Russia-Ukraine conflict hampered the possibilities of a COVID-19 pandemic-related global economic rebound. Economic sanctions on several nations, a rise in commodity prices, and disruptions in the supply chain as a result of the conflict between these two nations have all had an impact on numerous markets around the world. At a CAGR of 1.7%, the operating systems market is anticipated to reach $48.27 billion in 2026.

According on web usage as of September 2022, Android, an operating system based on the Linux kernel, is the most popular operating system in the world. It holds a market share of 43% worldwide, followed by Windows (29%), Apple iOS (18%), macOS (6%), and (desktop) Linux (1.1%), which also uses the Linux kernel. These figures do not account for game consoles or embedded devices.

Android has a market share of 72% for smartphones and other portable devices, whereas iOS has 28%. Windows is the most popular operating system for desktops and laptop computers, accounting for 74% of all installations, followed by Apple's macOS (14%), and Linux-based operating systems (5%, or desktop Linux at 2.84% and Google's ChromeOS at 2%, up to 4.43% in the US).

Apple's iPadOS has 52% of the tablet market globally, while Android has 48%. Of the gadgets mentioned above, tablets make up 2.5%, desktops and laptops 39%, and cellphones and other portable devices 58%. With a 51% usage rate worldwide, including in the US, smartphones outpace PC operating systems (including Windows) by a wide margin.

What is the Market Share of Desktop Operating Systems?

Windows is still the most popular desktop operating system. However this dominance varies by different regions, and other desktop operating systems have increasingly taken market share away from Windows. (Mobile Operating Systems had already captured a great deal of Window's market share) The slide being particularly noticeable in the US, where macOS usage has increased by more than fourfold since January.


  • Windows held a market share of 73.72% for desktop computers in January 2022. (source: StatCounter)
  • As of January 2022, Windows 10 accounts for 82.49% of all desktop and laptop operating systems. This made the fact clear that Windows 10 is the most widely used operating system available. (source: StatCounter)
  • Since July or August 2016, Windows 10's usage share has gradually climbed, reaching about 27.15 percent (of all Windows versions, not all desktop or operating systems) in December 2016. On October 5, 2021, the same day that its successor Windows 11 was introduced, it finally achieved 79.79%.
  • 12.91% of users use Windows 7. (source: StatCounter)
  • The usage of Windows 8.1 is 3.12%. 0.66% of users are running Windows 8. (Source: StatCounter)
  • Windows XP was still installed on 0.51% of Windows PCs.
  • In 2020, Microsoft had $143.015 billion in sales. That represents a 13.65% rise from 2019. (Source: Macrotrends)
  • In the fourth quarter of 2020, Microsoft's revenue was $37.154 billion. **(Source: Macrotrends) **


  • In January 2022, OS X had a 15.33% market share of desktops. (Source: StatCounter)
  • In September 2021, macOS has 9.54% of the desktop/laptop OS market share. (Source: NetMarketShare)
  • In January 2022, 81.7% of MacOS users were using macOS Catalina. However, Apple lists the most recent iteration of their operating system, Big Sur, as Catalina, therefore this number is undoubtedly false. Right now, we only have this one. (Source: NetMarketShare)
  • Second place goes to macOS Mojave, which has a 6.23% market share. (Source)
  • Third place goes to macOS High Sierra, which has a 5.62% global market share. (StatCounter, source)
  • The fourth quarter of 2018 saw sales of $5,513 million for Apple Mac computers. (Data from Statista)
  • The use of macOS varies greatly by area. For example, North America claims 16.82% (17.52% in the US), while Asia barely has 4.4%.

Google Chrome OS

  • The K-12 market share of Chrome OS grew to 51% in 2016 and exceeded Apple for the first time. (Source: USA TODAY)
  • In US K–12 classrooms in 2018, Chrome OS accounted for 60% of all laptops and tablets. (Source: CNBC)
  • Google estimates that up to 30 million Chromebooks are presently being used in classrooms. (Source: 9to5Google)
  • By 2023, it's anticipated that the market for Chromebooks would exceed 17 million devices. (Source: Global Market Insights)
  • In 2022, Chrome OS's desktop market share is 2.18%. (Source: StatCounter)


  • According to the market share of operating systems, the current usage share for Linux desktops ranges from 1.74 to 2.18%. (Source: W3Cook)
  • The market share of Linux on desktops was expected to be 1.63% in April 2019. (StatCounter, source)
  • As of May 2019, 38.2% of Linux users use Ubuntu. (Source: W3Techs)
  • Debian is used by 21.5% of users. (Source: W3Techs)
  • 17.5% of users use CentOS. Red Hat is used by 2.2%. Gentoo is used by 1.8% of Linux users.(Source: W3Techs)


All the above statistics lead to the conclusion that Windows has the largest operating system market share for desktop computers. Although Windows servers may not be as common as **Linux servers, Windows reigns supreme on Deksto**p.

Naturally, Mac comes in second, with Apple users favouring macOS Mojave the most.

Despite not being by any means the most popular OS, Google's Chrome OS rules the educational statistics.

The percentages of Linux have not significantly changed over the previous few years. As the majority of Hosting Tribunal's regular readers are aware, Linux rules the hosting industry and runs every supercomputer, yet it lags far behind in terms of personal computers.

As of April 2019, FreeBSD's desktop market share was 0.01%.

What is the Market Share of Mobile Operating Systems?

By the first quarter of 2018, Apple's iOS and Google's popular Android (and derivatives) held nearly all of the market share for mobile operating systems on smartphones.

The proportion of smartphone users compared to PC users varies greatly per nation. Smartphone use is still just about 22.35 percent of all web use in some nations, such as Russia, but it is close to 50% in the majority of western nations. This could indicate that practically everyone has a smartphone, not that just half of people use smartphones; rather, it just means that other platforms are used approximately equally. The percentage of people using smartphones in developing nations is substantially greater; for instance, in Bangladesh, Android smartphones had a peak share of 84% and now have a share of 70%, while in Mali, smartphones had over 80% of the market.

The market share of each country's smartphone operating system is directly correlated to its GDP per capita, with consumers in the wealthiest nations far more likely to select Apple's iPhone and Google's Android in the rest of the world.


  • Android is used by 70.01% of smartphones worldwide. (Source: statCounter)
  • With a 35.37% market share, Android 11.0 leads the Android market. (Source: statCounter)
  • 10.0 comes in second place with a 27% market share. (Source: statCounter)
  • Third place goes to 9.0 Pie with 13.46%. (Source: statCounter)
  • 7.06% of Android devices run Oreo 8.1. (Source: statCounter)
  • In 2022, 85.5% of smartphones are anticipated to run on Android. (Source: IDC)


  • As of January 2022, iOS held a 17.42% global operating system market share. (Source: StatCounter)
  • In addition, when just mobile OS are taken into account, it holds 23.96% of the global market. (Source: StatCounter)
  • In January 2022, iOS 15.1 has a 42.59% market share. (Source: StatCounter)
  • For the second quarter of 2019, Apple announced sales of $58 billion. That represents a 5% drop from a year ago. (Source: Apple)


All the above statistics highlight the huge market competition which we can witness between the Android and iOS.The rivalry is well-known.

Android appears to be winning easily for the time being. The market share of Android is 70.01%, whereas that of iOS is 23.96%. But the market competitiveness doesn't appear to be slowing down any time soon.

What are the Top Factors Which Impact the Market Share of an Operating System?

The Operating System Market Share is a very dynamic statistic and varies a lot from time to time, depending upon world policies and events.

As discussed, one of the important factors is the world events. A very recent example of this has been first the Covid-19 pandemic, disrupting the world economy in all aspects to a huge extent. Another is the Russia-Ukraine War, causing restrictions in world trade and the import-exports, causing gaps between the several units of production of Operating Systems in the world, from manufacturing to integration.

However, it is unlikely that these events change the leaders in the Operating System market, and make very significant changes in their rankings and preferences.

Moreover, the operating systems market's expansion is expected to be constrained by rising use of operating system pirated copies. Software piracy is a very serious issue that has had a long-term negative influence on the profits of software companies. More than 4 in 5 or 83% of all new laptops sold in nine Asian countries come pre-loaded with malware and pirated software, according to a Microsoft study that was published in those countries. The BSA, the Software Alliance, also claims that over 74% of all commercial software used in China is pirated.

Another factor to impact the market share can be considered as the regions,the countries. A very important instance of this was discussed in the smartphone use distribution in the world, which highly varies with the region.


In this article, we went through the current statistics of the Operating System Market Share.

  • Despite not having the largest operating systems market share, Apple is still in the lead thanks to the greatest overall value of all products.
  • Google follows in second, then Microsoft. The OS industry is dominated by these main three companies.
  • In terms of operating system market share, Windows is unquestionably superior to Mac. But many business people favour macOS.
  • Android wants to continue to hold the top spot in the mobile market. Android dominates iOS in terms of market share globally.
  • In the US, iOS has a minor market share advantage over Android.
  • iOS only appears on high-end devices in an effort to maintain its premium reputation; nevertheless, this effectively excludes it from the competition for the top spot.

Additional Resources

  1. iOS developer interview questions