In 2014 Android was dominant as the operating system for smart devices – including smartphones and tablets.
And while Google’s Android OS will rule the roost this year too, as more “intelligence” goes into cars, glasses, and watches, ABI Research thinks its dominance will reach its peak between 2014 and 2019, showing only a modest CAGR of 10 percent.
Android will have competition from Chrome and Firefox, according to Stephanie Van Vactor, an analyst at ABI Research.
She predicts that those will show CAGRs of 29 percent and Chrome respectively in that time period.
Of course Chrome is also a Google product, but she thinks Android will work well with it.
The move to smart devices means that people will have a lot more choice in choosing an operating system. The research company didn’t say how well it thinks Microsoft’s OS for smartphones and the like will do.
Data from market research
company ABI Research indicates that Google’s Android operating system is losing share in the smartphone market.
The data shows that certified Android smartphone shipments fell in the fourth quarter of 2014 compared to the third quarter.
Cerified Android shipments fell to 205 million in the fourth quarter, down from 217.49 million – a drop of around five percent.
The clear winner in the quarter was Apple’s iOS – while it only shipped 74.50 millions during Q4, that was up by 90 percent compared to Q3 2014.
Microsoft also managed to increase its market share in the fourth quarter, rising to 10.70 millions – up 19 percent compared to the third quarter.
Others – by which we can infer operating systems by Blackberry and the like, saw growth decline by 26 percent.
Even though Windows 10 will not now be ready until the second half of next year, Microsoft is going to show off its latest version in mid January.
And it’s bowing to the inevitable by throwing out much of the clunky code that makes up Internet Explorer and introducing a streamlined browser called Spartan, according to reports.
Microsoft was late to the internet game in the 1990s and has had trouble catching up with competitors ever since.
Microsoft wants its browser to be a lot more like more popular browsers like Firefox and Google Chrome, and to try to shake off perceptions that its behind the times. It will allow extensions to the browser and it will be backwards compatible with previous versions.
According to Mary Jo Foley at ZD Net, Windows 10 will ship with both Spartan and Internet Explorer 11 – something of a kludge in itself.
The version of Windows 10 that Microsoft will show off is called the Windows 10 Technical Preview and will include a number of additional features in the long build up to its release in the second half of next year.
Microsoft is also likely to port the Spartan browser to other operating systems, such as Android.
People eager to throw off the shackles of Windows 8.x look like they’ll have some time to wait before they’re free at last.
According to PC Advisor, a “consumer preview2 will be released in January so you’ll be able to see what you’re missing for quite a long time. Windows 10 isn’t now expected until the second half of next year.
Reuters, quoting Microsoft’s chief operating officer, Kevin Turner, said the launch was likely to be the early Autumn.
Reports suggest that Windows 10 may well be free of charge to existing Windows 8.x users. Microsoft isn’t giving any details of prices yet and so no one is clear what the upgrade paths are likely to be.
The operating system is likely to look more like Windows 7 than Windows 8.x – the latter was Microsoft’s ill fated attempt to resemble other tablet operating systems like iOS and Android.
Even Microsoft insiders wondered what the company was doing with such a hybrid.
Microsoft’s decision to skip the number nine and jump straight to Windows 10 seems to be some kind of weird marketing move – as usual, it is describing the future OS as the “best OS yet”.
Google has released a major update of Android, dubbed “Lollipop”.
According to Google, this is its thirteenth and most ambitious release of Android.
It has over 5,000 new application program interfaces (APIs) and to work on all devices.
Lollipop, it says, has a consistent design across different devices. It also has features that lets you filter notifications so that if you’re doing something and you don’t want to be disturbed, you’ll see only the people you decide to let through.
It also includes a new battery saver feature which it claims will extend the life of a gadget by up to 90 minutes. Android 5.0 Lollipop also now includes multiple user accounts, guest user mode, and PIN passwords.
You may not have upgraded from Windows XP to Windows 7, never mind Windows 8 – but pretty soon you’ll have Windows 9 to think about.
Microsoft will release something it calls a technical preview of Windows 9 at the end of this month.
The word on the street is that Windows 9 will include the start menu – and it might not be called Windows 9. The beta is due to be supplied with a single beta.
According to PC Advisor, the preview version will come between the second quarter and the third quarter next year. There will be versions available for smartphones, for PCs and for tablets.
Web site Winbeta said that Microsoft is going to dump the so-called “charms bar”, an annoying menu that comes in from the right hand side of the screeen with buttons to search, share and the like.
The word on the street appears to be that Windows 9, or whatever it’s called, will use 64 bit processors only, although that could present a problem for heaps of people.
While very many people haven’t yet upgraded from Windows 7 to Windows 8.1, and very many people have stuck with Windows XP, it seems that Microsoft will show off Windows 9 soon.
Paul Thurrott’s Supersite for Windows has delivered some Windows 9 screenshots from sources he is not ready to name in advance of Windows Technical Preview – due out in October.
And guess what, Microsoft is bringing back the Start menu. There was much gnashing of teeth when it decided not to build it into Windows 8.x Start menu, particularly among corporate users of the operating system.
The preview uses the same Store as Windows 8.1, while mobile apps will run in floating windows on the desktop, according to Paul Thurrott.
Microsoft has a long running record of producing versions of Windows that are dogs followed by versions that are functional and popular.
Windows Vista was a dog, and Windows 8.x is a pooch too. Perhaps Windows 9 will be better.
A method of receiving updates to Windows XP right up to 2019 has been described by analysts as “very bad news”.
Earlier this week, betanews reported that people now unsupported by Microsoft who have Windows XP can use the embedded version of Windows to receive security updates by a few simple registry changes.
But Richard Acreman, CEO of WM360 said using the tweak was “potentially very bad news for the industry if it encourages anyone to remain on the outdated operating system any longer”.
He said there are legal and security concerns. “Most important is that any company still relying on an operating system released a decade before the first iPhone is setting itself up for a fall.”
There is no clear figure how many people worldwide are still using XP but what is clear that many don’t want to be bumped into a potentially expensive upgrade involving a new user interface and investment in terms of PCs.