Windows 8 has now left Android behind, overtaken Linux

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In the 18 days since the release of Windows 8, Microsoft’s latest desktop and tablet OS, the operating system has grown rather nicely.

Statcounter, which measures the OS’s web presence by examining website logs in real time, has found as of yesterday the operating system now has 0.88% of all web hits, more than the 0.86% of Linux or the 0.6% of Android.

This is in fact not the first time Windows 8 overtook Linux, but last it occurred over the weekend, when the OS appears to see its heaviest use, and Linux its lightest. On this occasion it occurred in the middle of the week, indicating that this is simply part of the overall natural growth of the OS.

The week-end spikes does however indicate that the OS is having more traction with home users than in business, a not unexpected result.

The next stop is iOS, which with its tablet, iPod Touch and iPhone presence represents over 400 million devices but represents only 2.89% of web hits.

Some have say it is unfair to compare mobile operating systems with a desktop OS, but Windows 8 has not just blurred but erased those boundaries, just like the iPad has ambitions to replace the desktop.

Another criticism has been that Statcounter only tracks web use and not app usage.  The latest Comscore data however shows that on smartphones this is pretty evenly split with 54% of smartphone users using apps and 52.6% using the browser, with browser use in fact increasing over time.  The browser of course remains the most important application on a phone or tablet, and remains a good proxy for the activity of the various operating systems.

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