Jelly Bean still dominates, but KitKat is on the rise
Android 4.4.x KitKat is now baked into about a quarter of all Android devices nearly a year after it was first released -- KitKat debuted on Google's Nexus 5 handset on October 31, 2013. With 24.5 percent of all Android gadgets running KitKt, the latest release is second only to Jelly Bean and enjoys a larger market share than all previous versions combined (Ice Cream Sandwich, Gingerbread, Froyo, Donut, and Cupcake).
A basic version said to be already present in early builds
As September 30th, the day Microsoft is widely rumored to release a “technical preview” of the next version of Windows — codenamed "Threshold” and commonly referred to as Windows 9 — draws near, you can expect to see a surge in Windows 9-related reports. According to one such report, Windows Threshold is going to feature a notification center à la the Windows Phone Action Center.
With each new passing day, more Windows XP users are pulling the plug on the legacy operating system and upgrading to either Windows 7 or Windows 8/8.1. We can see evidence of this in the market share trend dating back to April, which is when Microsoft stopped supporting XP. Since then, XP's share of the desktop market has dropped from 26.29 percent to 23.89 percent, while both Windows 7 and Windows 8/8.1 continue to make gains.
Diehard Windows XP fans are having a hard time bidding the legacy operating system farewll -- by the numbers, it's estimated that some 15 percent (StatCounter) to just under 25 percent (Net Applications) of desktops are still running Windows XP. Save for businesses that pay a fee, Microsoft killed off support for Windows XP back in April, though one developer is determined to keep it alive with a new (and unofficial) Service Pack.
Would you like a slice of Lemon Meringue Pie with your KitKat?
Fact: Bears eat beets. Bears. Beets. Battlestar Gallactica. Another fact -- every version of Android since v1.5 has been named after a sweet dessert, in alphabetical order (Cupcake, Doughnut, Eclair, and so forth). As it stands, the next version of Android is currently codenamed L, and we can think of a bunch of desserts that start with that letter. However, there's evidence to suggest that Google with run with Lemon Meringue Pie for Android L.
China's own operating system could be ready by October
After banning Microsoft's Windows 8 software for use on government PCs, China is now reportedly planning to cook up its own operating system. The home brewed OS could see a launch as early as October, and it would have the full backing of the Chinese government. China's motivation in building an OS of its own is to alleviate concerns that imported software from the likes of Microsoft, Google, and Apple could have spying mechanisms built into the code base.
With Windows 9 (Threshold) rumored for an introduction next month along with a Release Preview for consumers and developers alike, it's safe to say that the Windows 8 era is winding down, though some would argue it never truly began (market share figures would back that argument). So, what do you do if you're an OEM looking to pick up sales for the back to school season? Well, if you're HP, you promote Windows 7 and offer shoppers an enticing discount.
Microsoft is planning a technology preview of Threshold next month
Now that Microsoft is no longer bothering itself with major updates for Windows 8.1, the company can switch focus to its next operating system codenamed "Threshold," or Windows 9 if you think Microsoft will keep the numbering scheme going. What will Windows 9 bring to the table? If that's a question you'd like answered, stay tuned -- Microsoft is reportedly planning a "technology preview" of Windows 9 either late next month or early October.
It's only a matter of time before we see how much Microsoft learned fom Windows 8/8.1 and the feedback it received from users. Windows 9, otherwise known as Threshold, will usher in a new era of Windows, and early indications point to a different design philosophy than the one that drew criticism in the current version of Windows. For example, one of the rumors floating around is that Windows 9 will get rid of the Charms Bar.
Not much has happened in the Windows space this summer, though what little movement there's been indicates that users are still trending more towards Windows 7 than Windows 8/8.1. The combined share of Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 in July was 12.48 percent, down a sliver from 12.54 percent in June and 12.64 percent in May. All of those figures are up slightly from the 12.24 percent share Window 8/8.1 held in April when support for XP ended, but nothing to brag about.