A New Leader on the Horizon

Microsoft may lose its first place position this year.

With the proliferation of mobile devices, the tide has been turning, especially in recent years. StatCounter, a web analytics company, measures web traffic and tracks the operating systems from which the traffic originates. The company recently confirmed that the Microsoft Windows operating system, a long time world leader in market share, may soon be surpassed by the Android operating system.

This ExtremeTech article from Ryan Whitwam reports that in February 2017 Microsoft Windows had 38.6 percent of the market, while Android held 37.4 percent. While Windows is still in the lead, it has been steadily losing ground. It's expected that if this trend continues, Android will soon be the leading operating system worldwide.

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Discussion Questions/Activities
  1. Poll the class about their use of smartphones and/or tablets. Do most of them own one? How much time do they spend using it each day? What operating system does their smartphone or tablet use? Do they know how to tell? Do they know which version of the operating system is installed? Compare and contrast their answers with similar responses to questions about their desktop/laptop computers.
  2. Divide the class into small groups. Each group should develop a survey about smartphones and mobile devices to obtain similar information to the questions asked in Item 1 above. Once the group has created the survey questions, each individual in the group should attempt to gather at least 10 survey respondents. Students might ask other students, friends, and family, or they may choose to visit a local shopping center or other public area and ask passersby for their input. Once the surveys are completed, students should compile the data and create a brief report or presentation of the statistics to share with the class.
  3. As an individual project, ask students to research one or more of the features expected to be included in the latest version of the Android operating system. How useful or interesting do they think these features will be?  Are the changes significant enough to consider upgrading their phone (if they use an Android phone)? Why or why not? Students should write a brief paper explaining their findings and defending their opinion.


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