Google's Android operating system will be used on more devices than Windows in just four years, according to Gartner.
The industry research body foresees that by the end of 2016, Google will pip Microsoft to the post, with its Android system operating on 2.3 billion computers, tablets and smartphones, compared with 2.28 billion using Windows, according to Reuters.
The research comes as Microsoft unveils its Windows 8 operating system, which chief executive Steve Ballmer hailed as "the beginning of a new era" when discussing the firm's Q1 financial results. In a statement, he blamed the declining PC shipment sales on the anticipation of the new system ahead of its launch.
By the end of this year, Windows will operate on 1.5 billion systems, compared with only 608 million using Android, which arrived on the market in 2008, Gartner said.
Android currently controls two thirds of the smartphone market and holds second place in the tablet market, behind Apple.
The Windows 8 launch coincides with the unveiling of Microsoft's Surface tablet, which channel onlookers suggested may be distributed through the channel from January.
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