Operating systems – additional information
An operating system (OS) is the most important software that runs on a computer. Operating systems enable the computer software to interact with the computer hardware. They further constitute a runtime environment for every other program on the computer. In 2013, the worldwide operating system revenue totaled to about 34 billion U.S. dollars, a 7.5 percent increase from 2012.
As is shown by the statistic at hand, Windows 7 has been the most popular operating system since 2012. Like its previous versions Windows XP and Windows Vista, Windows 7 was developed by Microsoft, one of the largest software makers worldwide. In 2014, Microsoft announced the discontinuing of Windows XP support, which explains its drop in global market share. In the computer operating system market, Linux has enjoyed some growth between 2012 and 2013. It reflects increasing interest of end-users in open source systems.
Operating systems for mobile devices have become a significant category over the past few years. According to a forecast, tablet shipments will surpass desktops and laptops and increase to about 407 million units by 2017. Mobile operating systems are run on smartphones, tablet computers and other mobile devices. Android and iOS are the two biggest players in this market. iOS is exclusively distributed for Apple hardware, whereas Android is designed under open-source principles, meaning that it may be operated on a much wider range of devices. On the global smartphone operating system market, Android has been the unquestioned market leader since 2011. Moreover, during the last quarter 2012, Android overtook iOS in the global tablet market.