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One in five notebooks sold is now a Chromebok, Microsoft appears desperate to beat Google back

Seemingly out of nowhere Google Inc.'s (GOOG) Chrome OS -- a Linux-kernel based personal computer operating system -- has emerged as a dominant force in the PC market.

I. At Last a True Challenge to the Windows PC Hegemony

According to market share data from the NPD Group Inc. -- a top market research group -- this year has been a rough year for Apple, Inc. (AAPL) in terms of market share, and a mixed year for Microsoft Corp.'s (MSFT) Windows platfrom.  2013 was a year of unbelieveable growth, as Google's Chrome OS-powered "Chromebooks" emerged as the first compelling mass-market Windows alternative on the budget end in decades, inheriting the legacy of the netbook.

Between Jan. and Nov. 2013 Chromebooks accounted for 9.6 percent share of U.S. sales of all tablets, notebooks, and desktop personal computers combined.  On a year-to-year basis Chromebooks grew 47-fold in sales, a mind-boggling explosion.

That number contrasts harshly with Apple, Inc.'s (AAPL) laptop market share trends, which saw a drop from 2.6 to 1.8 percent in the traditional PC market (notebooks + desktops).


Chrome OS
Chrome OS is posting incredible growth.

 

While tablets continue to fill an increasing role in Americans' electronic lives, both in terms of work and play, the traditional PC (notebooks, desktops) is as relevant as ever in 2013.

Apple was never able to muster a true challenge to the coalition of Windows PC OEMs (at least with regards to market share), leaving Windows free to enjoy hegemony of this crucial market for years.  By contrast Chrome OS seems to have broken through, with Chromebooks now accounting for roughly one in five laptop sales this year.  Key to this surge has been support from OEMs that were once Windows exclusive or nearly Windows exclusive.


HP Chromebook 11 ($279 USD)

 


America's Hewlett Packard Comp. (HPQ), South Korea's Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd. (KSC:005930), and Taiwan's Acer, Inc. (TPE:2353) have all rode the Chromebook wave to resurgent notebook sales, amidst the slump in Windows PC sales.

With Chromebooks single-handedly driving personal computer growth and Apple and Microsoft sinking in market share, other OEMs are eageryl jumping on board the Chrome OS train.  ASUSTek Computer Inc. (TPE:2357) and
Toshiba Corp. (TYO:6502) are planning 2014 Chromebook launches. 

Lenovo ThinkPad

Both Dell Inc. and Lenovo Group, Ltd. (HKG:0992) have announced education-geared Chromebook models (the Dell Chromebook 11 and the Lenovo ThinkPad x131e).  These models are expected to be joined by consumer-aimed models in 2014.  From a big picture perspective, this marks the first time in over two decades that every major Windows PC OEM has backed an alternative platform.

Notebook market shareLaptop sales; Jan.-Nov. 2012/2013 [Data Source: NPD Group]

While iPads -- Apple's biggest "PC" product -- are still outselling ChromeBooks 3-to-2 in the "PC" market, ChromeBooks are outselling Apple roughly 5-to-1 in the U.S. market.  Together 3 out of every 4 PCs sold (approximately) still run Windows.  But of the sales on alternatively platforms, Google controls 5 out of every 6 PCs sold, roughly.

II. U.S. Tablet Sales -- iPad Still King; Windows, Android Give Chase

The iPad's share of the PC market also fell from 17.1 percent to 15.8 percent, cannibalized by Chromebooks and Android tablets.  The fall might have been worse, had it not been for Apple's decision to produce a 7-inch tablet.

Steve Jobs -- Apple's late cofounder and CEO -- infamously remarked in Oct. 2010 at the All Things D conference keynote:

The reason we wouldn't make a 7-inch tablet isn't because we don't want to hit a price point, it's because we don't think you can make a great tablet with a 7-inch screen.  The 7-inch tablets are tweeners, too big to compete with a smartphone and too small to compete with an iPad.  [Increasing screen resolution on small devices is] meaningless, unless your tablet also includes sandpaper, so that the user can sand down their fingers to around one quarter of the present size.

There are clear limits of how close you can physically place elements on a touch screen before users cannot reliably tap, flick or pinch them.  This is one of the key reasons we think the 10-inch screen size is the minimum size required to create great tablet apps.

Yet in Oct. 2012 Apple produced just such a "tweener" tablet, which its founder had condemned as inferior.  And the market proved Mr. Jobs was entirely wrong.


iPad mini with Retina Display

In tablets Apple also appears to be losing its edge in unit sales in the U.S., the world's most lucrative market.  Both Windows 8.x and Android tablets gobbled up part of the iPad's dominant U.S. market share in 2013, with Windows tablets being the biggest gainer.  Nearly 1 in 10 tablets sold now is a Windows tablet in the U.S.; nearly 1 in 3 is an Android tablet.

Globally Android tablets have passed the iPad, so take these numbers with a grain of salt, although they are meaningful given the U.S remains one of the world's highest margin markets, and trails only China in volume for personal electronics.

2013 Market ShareTablet sales; Jan.-Nov. 2012/2013 [Data Source: NPD Group]


In the tablet market Microsoft, Apple, and Google can all find positive signs in U.S. sales numbers.  For Apple, it may have fallen a bit, but it still controls roughly 6 out of every 10 tablet sales in the world's most lucrative market.

For Microsoft, it's the fast growing market player, even if it still controls less than 1 out of every 10 tablets sold.  For Google steady growth is slowly lofting it towards seizing the sales crown in the tablet market, as it already did internationally in 2013.

III. Desktop Sales -- Still Stronghold for Microsoft

The NPD Group numbers did not break down desktop sales by platform.  While desktop sales (8.5 percent growth) trailed in year-to-year growth versus laptop sales (28.9 percent growth) and tablet sales (49 percent growth) they still represented more than 1 in every 4 devices sold.

PC sales
Desktop PCs still remain a relevant, if a bit diminished market force. [Data Source: NPD Group]

In terms of OEMs HP leveraged its mix of Chrome OS and Windows product to remain #1 in global PC sales.  Meg Whitman's leadership is quietly transforming a company that nearly self-destructed under the suicidal, dysfunctional tenure of Léo Apotheker.

PC market share

Samsung -- which regularly vies with Apple for the top spot in the U.S. smartphone market -- used its impressive Android tablet and Chromebook lineup, along with a lighter mix of Windows product, to seize fourth place.  Its sales grew nearly six-fold.

Lenovo -- second place in terms of U.S. PC sales by OEM -- remains the strongest OEM not to have yet decisively jumped on the Chrome train.  Apple, meanwhile, took third place, largely on the merits of its iPad "PC" sales.

LG Electronics, Inc. (KSC:066570) -- an OEM who hopes to follow Samsung's rise to power in the U.S. market in 2014 -- perhaps gave us a taste of things to come, showing off a Chrome OS powered "Chromebase" desktop PC last week.



Expect "Chromebases" to battle Windows desktops in 2014.

 
The pricey Mac Pro and budget iMac lines have never posed a serious threat to Windows desktop sales.  Could Chromebases in 2014 follow in the line of Chromebooks' dramatic 2013?  We'll just have to wait and see.

Source: The NPD Group



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Impressive growth in Chromebooks
By troysavary on 12/26/2013 5:31:30 PM , Rating: 2
But will it last? I see Chromebooks as the latest fad like netbooks were. If they still have relevant market share in 2 years, I'll admit I am wrong. Some of the guys I know who work in consumer electronics retail say the return rate for Chromebooks has been rather high. I know that is just anecdotal, and just in a small market, so it may or may not be pertinent.




RE: Impressive growth in Chromebooks
By JasonMick (blog) on 12/26/2013 5:48:34 PM , Rating: 2
quote:

But will it last? I see Chromebooks as the latest fad like netbooks were. If they still have relevant market share in 2 years, I'll admit I am wrong. Some of the guys I know who work in consumer electronics retail say the return rate for Chromebooks has been rather high. I know that is just anecdotal, and just in a small market, so it may or may not be pertinent.
From one of your recent comments...
quote:
Funny, you accuse me of having an agenda when I am anti-Google for Google's blatent disrespect of privacy laws, but it is ok for you to have an agenda because your favorite company is being picked on? Boo hoo. Google made lots of enemies with IP theft, now it is coming home to roost.
So I suppose now we should all believe you that Chromebooks are doomed? You've made it clear that you despise Google. So at best your prediction is colored by a pretty strong bias.

..........

I'm somewhat of an independent commentator, as I own a couple Windows laptops, plus a late 2012 Retina MacBook Pro, and I bought an early Samsung Chromebook for an ex-GF.

So technically I've spent a fair bit of hands-on time with every major platform.

From a somewhat unbiased viewpoint yes, there's a current shortage of apps that are compiled to run properly offline with Chrome OS. And there's inherent privacy concerns given the cloud data hosting. But these concerns are overstated.

In the long term you can level similar criticism against virtually any tablet -- Android and iOS both are increasingly leveraging cloud storage, so is Microsoft (see: Office 365). Likewise, Apple's iPad was originally attacked as deficient of apps; like Chrome OS once market adoption took off, so too did developer interest.

So hate it all you want, but those tears you're crying will be frustration, not joy as Chromebooks aren't going anywhere. You can get a good Chromebook for $280, that offers similar functionality to an iPad -- low-end gaming, internet surfing, media viewing, bare-bones document editing, and email.

Chrome OS is meant to be light, so it runs pleasantly on low end hardware. By contrast, on $280 laptops, Windows 8.2 feels pretty clunky. It feels great on newer, more expensive touchscreen laptops like the Lenovo Carbon X1, but the low-end definitely isn't kind to Windows 8.x.

Chrome OS is winning based on price.

As long as it outperforms Windows in the $200-300 space, it will sell well.


RE: Impressive growth in Chromebooks
By Nortel on 12/26/13, Rating: -1
RE: Impressive growth in Chromebooks
By DT_Reader on 12/27/2013 4:10:25 PM , Rating: 5
Except for one thing: If you require a keyboard, it's probably to do useful work (like word processing or spreadsheets). If you don't have a 24/7 internet connection, a Chromebook is a brick - you can't get to your Google Docs. Frankly, I think the Chromebook will peak soon, because people will quickly realize that a tablet is much better for non-productive stuff and a full notebook or even netbook is better for productive stuff. The Chromebook tries to be both, but it's a poor compromise.

Now, if you could get to the underlying Linux and run some real programs on it...


RE: Impressive growth in Chromebooks
By zzynko on 12/30/2013 11:43:07 PM , Rating: 2
It's kind of funny that Jason is trying to pump Chromebooks as an alternative comparable to Windows or OSX. The fact is Chrome OS hasn't reached that point yet, doubt that it will any time soon.
http://www.digitaltrends.com/mobile/chromebook-wee...

WinRT has even more functionality/adaptability plus you don't need to be online to make full use of it.


RE: Impressive growth in Chromebooks
By robertgu on 12/26/2013 10:12:19 PM , Rating: 5
Man I dislike when authors and statisticians only use % growth or declines instead of using actual shipment units numbers. I could not find a single line in your article pointing to any volume numbers so I assume NPD did not provide any.

What I hate about using % is the same reason why I hate it when Windows Phone fanboys say stuff like: "Windows Phone is growing 400%. We're the fastest growing smartphone market!". Yes that can be accurate, but it is disingenuous IMO as their marketshare is a fraction that of the established players. Additionally, using % numbers only is usually a "goto" tool fanboys use to push their ideology. I prefer volume numbers instead.

From what I can glean by looking at the source article:

https://www.npd.com/wps/portal/npd/us/news/press-r...

They are providing data for the US commercial channel sales only and this report is not supposed to represent all of the US sells for PCs, tablets, notebooks.

According to Gartner, approximately 45 million desktops, laptops, and mobile PC (no tablet numbers are included in this figure unlike the NPD numbers) are estimated to be sold in the US between 1Q13 to 3Q13. Conventional wisdom states that approx. 50% of that total are laptops and mobile PCs for a estimated total of 22.5 million.

http://www.gartner.com/newsroom/id/2420816
http://www.gartner.com/newsroom/id/2544115
http://www.gartner.com/newsroom/id/2604616

Yet when you consider the data point for the source article is for US commercial channel sales only and includes desktops, notebooks, and tablets (which Gartner does not include tablet sales figures) between Jan. '13 to Nov. '13; it totals only 14.4 million devices.

According to the source NPD article 1.76 million Chromebooks and Andriod tablets were sold through the US commercial channel between Jan. '13 to Nov. '13 and chart at the bottom of the article makes it appear that it is roughly a 50/50 split, meaning roughly 880,000 Chromebooks were sold through the US commercial channel.

Doing more back of the napkin calculations makes it hard for me to reconcile how approximately 900k Chromebooks sold through US commercial channels equals "Chromebooks Capture 21 Percent of 2013 U.S. Notebook Sales" as your article's title states. When an estimated 22.5 million notebooks and mobile PCs were sold in that same timespan (Per Gartner estimates). That choice of article title and article theme feels misrepresented. If your title read: "Chromebooks Capture 21 Percent of 2013 U.S. Commercial Channel Notebook Sales" this would be a more accurate representation and make the article seem less fanboy induced.

-Respectfully


RE: Impressive growth in Chromebooks
By Motoman on 12/27/2013 5:41:09 PM , Rating: 3
^

Maybe you can cherry-pick out a segment of a market to make some kind of statement like what Mick did, but as a whole? Please. The Chromebook marketshare is a rounding error. I see no possible way to believe that Google's marketshare of the computer market isn't as small, or smaller, than Apple's. Which is someplace in the vicinity of 5%.

If you want to change my mind you're going to have to show us actual volumes of customer purchases by all types - Microsoft, Apple, and Chrome. From all channels.

And frankly, that's not going to happen. But if someone wants to find and post those numbers, I'll be willing to hear the story they tell.


RE: Impressive growth in Chromebooks
By web2dot0 on 12/27/2013 10:26:16 AM , Rating: 2
You keep saying that you are "unbiased", but you are not.

The key word, as you put it, is "somewhat of a an independent commentator", and "somewhat [of an] unbiased viewport"

Just because you own Macbook Pro and Windows and bought (but not bought one for yourself) a Chromebook, doesn't make you unbiased or objective.

Chromebook has a place in the game just like iPad and Laptops, but that's about it. It's functionality will always be limited (as it's designed to do). It's a transition product like Netbooks.

Ultimately, no one wants but buy themselves a iPad, Chromebook, and a Laptop. It makes no sense and the first company that can crack the code will win the ultimate prize.

It's pretty clear right now that what Google is doing is testing the waters and see what sticks. Samsung style. It's not a bad strategy, but doesn't mean it's a winning formula.

Android gets a big chunk of the market now, but how much is Google really making off Android? Do you know that they are making jack all in China?

In China, people aren't even using Google App Store, and they are leeching off Android's open source code. (And what is Google gonna do if they violate GPL license? Storm into China?).

Ultimately, you can make designer jean knock offs, but people will still buy designer jeans. That's Apple. But if you don't even bother to brand yourself exclusive, any joe blow can make identical products and there's nothing you can do about it. That's the challenge for Google. They have the reach, but they make ZERO off it.

It's like Chinese movies and actors. Their market reach is crazy, but how much of it goes to its rightful owners?

Food for thought.


RE: Impressive growth in Chromebooks
By nafhan on 12/27/2013 10:45:16 AM , Rating: 2
Google doesn't sell software, and they don't really make much (directly) off Android in the US or Europe either. They do, however, sell ads... and they make quite a bit of money off of that. This is part of why it's difficult comparing companies like MS, Apple, and Google, because we've got: a (mostly) software company, a (mostly) hardware company, and a (mostly) advertising company. If, say, Apple and Google aren't making the money on software sales that MS does, it doesn't mean they are doing poorly.


RE: Impressive growth in Chromebooks
By web2dot0 on 12/27/2013 12:47:55 PM , Rating: 2
Ads they don't make much off the phones buddy. Which part of that don't you understand?

Google Ads off the browsing web and search yeah.

Google needs to make money off Android because it needs a end game. That's why that want to get into the hardware business ..... sorry to burst your bubble.


RE: Impressive growth in Chromebooks
By nafhan on 12/27/2013 1:36:07 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not sure what bubble you think you're bursting...

Anyway, you're sort of right in that Google needs to diversify, but I think hardware is nothing more than a means to an end in that game. What Google needs to do (and what they, and most major consumer tech companies appear to be working on) is getting into services.

With hardware, I think what people really want is to either show it off (i.e. it's a fashion accessory) or for it to be completely invisible. Right now, completely hiding portable tech is, at the least, very difficult, so the companies making pretty stuff are doing well. Endgame, though, will be technology that you don't see. At that point, which I don't believe to be terribly far off, it will not be good to be a hardware manufacturer.


By web2dot0 on 12/28/2013 4:37:48 PM , Rating: 2
Google have been in the services business ....

It's called Google Search Engine. ;-D

Their attempt to use Google App Store have failed in China because anyone can create their own Google App Stores. Google cannot stop it ... because fundamentally, the ecosystem was created on the premise that anyone can do anything they want. The ultimate flexibility. Hence the popularity.

Now that Apple made its appearance in China (officially), it's not so easy for the chinese to bypass the AppStore due to the tight restrictions on the Apple EcoSystem. People will visit App Store. They will be force to spend $$$ to get what they want.

Fake Apple App Store is 1000x harder. Apple can simply shut those places down with their OS (remember, software and hardware integration). You can't stop it. They hold all the keys. ;-D

There is Pros and Cons to each approach (Google and Apple). Blindly call Apple "evil" and Google "good" is what fools do. Take sides when there aren't any to begin with.

What's truly amazing is Apple is able to make Computing .... cool. Why do you think they create Apple Stores? It's a shopping experience. What's more impressive, going to Apple Store or going to Microsoft Kiosk? Dell Kiosk? It's a joke.

They are so far ahead of the curve that it's not even funny. Apple recognize that the general public don't care about specs, features. What they really care about is branding and social acceptance, good services, and good reputation.

The technology behind it is a means to an end of building a brand. That's why they focus so much of their R&D on chassis design, software integration, lightweight parts, etc ....

There's much more profit to be made selling $200 designer jeans than going to your local chinese market selling $10 jeans. That is, if you are interested in making a profit.

Not everyone can afford $200 jeans, but Apple don't need 100% market share. They aren't interested in the lowest common denominator. That's the beauty. They have cracked the code.


RE: Impressive growth in Chromebooks
By Mint on 12/27/2013 10:49:23 AM , Rating: 2
Here's the thing: We already saw Linux try to beat MS on netbooks, and it utterly failed. Even though OEMs saved on licensing costs by not including Windows, and priced them lower, they didn't sell near as well as Windows netbooks and just faded away.

Maybe Google's better app support and marketing will make things different this time, but Chrome OS apps are still woeful compared to those for windows, as is printer/peripheral compatibility.


By Solandri on 12/27/2013 4:28:12 PM , Rating: 2
I would argue that the original netbook (a consumption-only device not running Windows) didn't die. It morphed into tablets (also primarily consumption devices not running Windows) as people discovered that if you're just consuming content, you don't really need a keyboard.

The netbook which died ran Windows and for all intents and purposes was a cheap laptop. It got subsumed by the low-end of the regular laptop market as the cheapest price for a real laptop dropped from about $600 to about $350 from 2007-2013.

I'm not really sure where Chromebooks fit into this though. They're not consumption-only (in fact one of their touted strengths is being able to use it and the keyboard to create documents). They're not Windows but they act like laptops, and they're priced like (cheap) tablets. They're just so orthogonal to the predecessors in the market that it's difficult to predict their fate.

If I had to guess, I'd say their success rests on whether or not Google Docs can supplant Office for productivity tasks. Word and sometimes Powerpoint/Excel are about the only reason most of my clients get a laptop instead of a tablet. Yeah it's not as polished or as full-featured as Office. But even I only use about 5% of the features in Office. You can get 98% of the functionality with only 5% of the features.


By ClownPuncher on 12/27/2013 12:09:49 PM , Rating: 2
Chromebook is a garbage platform for garbage people with garbage standards.


RE: Impressive growth in Chromebooks
By Reclaimer77 on 12/26/13, Rating: -1
RE: Impressive growth in Chromebooks
By troysavary on 12/26/2013 6:12:10 PM , Rating: 1
They have had about 2 quarters of strong sales. That means nothing in the long run. A few year ago, people were predicting the netbook was the future. So, I stand by my statement. If they are still selling well in 2 years, then they are more than a fad and I will be wrong. How the hell can you declare that a prediction of an outcome two years hence is wrong based on current numbers. I admitted the growth is impressive. I just do not think it is sustainable. But nothing less than unabashed praise for everything Google is enough for you, is it?


RE: Impressive growth in Chromebooks
By Reclaimer77 on 12/26/13, Rating: 0
RE: Impressive growth in Chromebooks
By teldar on 12/26/2013 6:34:17 PM , Rating: 3

quote:

What are you basing this on? Chromebooks are CHEAP! How is that not sustainable?


I have a netbook that wasn't even really cheap and it's awful. I will never buy another and I'm not sure I'll ever buy another ATOM powered computer at all hoping it will be usable. How is that sustainable?
The thing about CHEAP hardware is that it saturates its market then sales fall and the niche dies out. What will not die is good hardware which can do anything you want it to. This is NOT the definition of a chromebook.

I would agree that it should be given at least a year and maybe two to really see if the model is a success.


RE: Impressive growth in Chromebooks
By Reclaimer77 on 12/26/2013 6:41:50 PM , Rating: 2
The model is a success right now. Tech moves so fast, in two years another smartphone type game-changer could come around and displace current devices. But that doesn't mean these were "failures". That reeks of hindsight.

That's like saying the VCR wasn't sustainable because we don't use them anymore. It was WILDLY successful, it just got replaced.

quote:
How is that sustainable?


Well I didn't own your particular Netbook. But all the reviews on the Chromebooks are overwhelmingly positive. They are slick, fast, and I don't see anyone saying their experience is similar to your Netbook.

So what's your point?


By troysavary on 12/27/2013 12:05:10 AM , Rating: 1
When I had said earlier that ChromeBook were a sales flop, I was going by the most recent numbers I could find at the time, which was from spring of this year with an estimate of 500k over 2 years. Going off that number, it definitely seemed they were a flop. The only counter I heard at the time was "It was the number 1 selling laptop on Amazon for a while.", which really meant nothing.

Then I read Mick's article claiming that they accounted for 21% of laptop sales in the USA and even I, ChromeBook skeptic, was impressed with the growth. Now it turns out that number was just more Mick clickbait bullshit. The numbers don't take into account consumer sales at all. They are just commercial sales and seemingly account for just 900k ChromeBook sales. According to channelnomics, whose reliability I cannot vouch for since I just found them when searching for sales figures, that channel number includes education procurements. If that is true, then 900k is hardly an impressive number. Perhaps several million more were sold to consumers. Perhaps not. Who knows? Definitely not anyone involved in this discussion.


By jimbojimbo on 12/27/2013 2:24:19 PM , Rating: 2
There's a huge difference between trying to run Windows on one of the previous generations of Atom processors and just the ChromeOS. You do understand that Windows requires a LOT more resources in every way right? Right? Please say yes otherwise nothing I can say will convince you of anything else.


RE: Impressive growth in Chromebooks
By troysavary on 12/26/13, Rating: -1
RE: Impressive growth in Chromebooks
By Reclaimer77 on 12/26/2013 7:46:44 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
MS is not in trouble because Chromebooks had a good year.


Who said they were? Wtf...

quote:
But that doesn't change the fact that it is too early to declare the Chromebook a long term success.


Who said the Chromebooks were a long-term success? Besides you, nobody has attached a time limit to these numbers. They are what you are.

Man your post is just h8h8h8h8h8 lol.

quote:
Funny you think the iPad is niche


Uhhh where exactly did I say that? Wtf.

I know I've said the iPhone is in danger of becoming a niche product due to marketshare. But I can't recall saying that about the iPad.


RE: Impressive growth in Chromebooks
By troysavary on 12/26/13, Rating: -1
RE: Impressive growth in Chromebooks
By Reclaimer77 on 12/26/2013 8:25:19 PM , Rating: 2
And so if Chromebooks are just a fad, you don't have to go through the painful process of admitting you were wrong, and Google can be a success in an entrenched market.

Gotcha.

I guess we'll all just wait your arbitrary two year cutoff date to find out! LMAO dude, you're awesome.


By troysavary on 12/26/2013 8:48:40 PM , Rating: 1
Yes, if they are a fad, then I will be right. If they are still selling well they will not be a fad. Why is that concept beyond your grasp. If they turn out to be a fad, they fill be just a footnote in computer history. You are so married to Google that you see everything as criticism against Google. If Apple made a SafariBook or Microsoft made an IEBook, I'd be saying they were a fad too. I think it is too limited to have long term success. I don't care in this case who the maker is. I don't think ChromeOS has staying power. I don't think the actual devices offer much for the price. I think 16 GB of storage is a useless amount in a phone these days. It is beyond pathetic in a laptop, even one that is expected to be connected all the time.


RE: Impressive growth in Chromebooks
By troysavary on 12/26/2013 8:36:33 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Who said they were? Wtf...


I am sure Argon18 probably did at some point :)


By Cheesew1z69 on 12/28/2013 9:34:35 AM , Rating: 1
And he is complete moron which no one takes seriously.


RE: Impressive growth in Chromebooks
By Argon18 on 12/30/2013 9:29:17 AM , Rating: 2
"I am sure Argon18 probably did at some point :)"

No I didn't. But don't fret, I am now. :) Microsoft is indeed in trouble is ChromeOS continues on this trend. It's obvious really. Your average consumer doesn't give two craps about Microsoft Windows or Office.

Joe/Jane consumer wants a laptop to do social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) online shopping (Amazon, walmart, etc) and online banking / bill-paying. That's it. If they can do those three things, and the machine performs well enough and is easy enough to use, that's all they care about. Nothing else.

The reason the Netbook fad died out was hardware specs. In order to meet a price point, they were so stripped down they performed like crap and they felt cheap and junky. Chromebooks look and feel like a normal low to mid range laptop computer. And they do everything the consumer wants, with great performance.

Microsoft should be very nervous if ChromeOS continues this current sales trend. Nobody cares about Linux on the desktop any more, because nobody uses desktops any more. Desktops are a niche market nowadays. The laptop is sales king, it is what all average consumers are buying as their primary computer these days. And if ChromeOS suits their needs, which apparently it does, then Microsoft's relevance in the consumer market will looks a lot like Blackberry's...

Of course the Wintards will not agree, but it's hard to see reality when you're sipping Redmond flavored kool-aid.


RE: Impressive growth in Chromebooks
By Cartman Jones on 12/27/2013 6:23:26 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
MS is not in trouble because Chromebooks had a good year


Actually, Mick said MS "appears desperate", so the implication was in the article.


By Reclaimer77 on 12/27/2013 9:38:31 AM , Rating: 2
That doesn't mean MS is in "trouble". But they are clearly threatened by Chromebooks and Google in general. They're spending serious money running a negative ad campaign about them.

I don't see where Mick implied Chromebooks were going to topple the MS empire or something.


RE: Impressive growth in Chromebooks
By Mint on 12/27/2013 10:53:47 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
BS! Netbooks sucked, because Windows sucks as a paired down low-power OS. In fact Windows sucked at anything mobile back then.


You do realize that netbooks started off using Linux, right? And that Windows-based netbooks bulldozed those based on Linux?


RE: Impressive growth in Chromebooks
By Argon18 on 12/30/2013 9:33:01 AM , Rating: 2
"You do realize that netbooks started off using Linux, right? And that Windows-based netbooks bulldozed those based on Linux?"

Lol what? Windows is one of the reasons the Netbook market died off.

Windows runs like crap on a netbook, slow, clunky, crashy, it is a miserable experience. Consumers don't like a miserable experience.


By dotting on 8/12/2014 10:01:10 AM , Rating: 2
well... I don't know which OS is 'PROPER' for laptops.... but I can say Adobe products run sucks on MacOS... and throtleing hell


RE: Impressive growth in Chromebooks
By jnemesh on 12/27/2013 1:32:00 PM , Rating: 2
"That means nothing in the long run"

It means enough that Microsoft felt threatened enough to launch a MULTI-MILLION DOLLAR ad campaign smearing Google and Chromebooks!


RE: Impressive growth in Chromebooks
By Jeffk464 on 12/26/2013 7:08:20 PM , Rating: 2
I personally love Chromebooks, they are about the same hassle level as your TV. Its the computer "appliance" that we were always promised. Give them to your parents and no more tech support calls.


RE: Impressive growth in Chromebooks
By ven1ger on 12/26/2013 7:35:27 PM , Rating: 2
The Chromebooks are interesting at least more interesting than netbooks. A coworker showed me his Chromebook and it was intriguing, super fast on startup, and very responsive.

With the Netbooks, never saw them as being very attractive in terms of usability, a few co-workers brought them, helped to install programs onto it but it just seemed sluggish and I'd rather have a full laptop.

Chromebooks looks to be a good medium between a laptop and a tablet if you don't need Windows applications. Chromebooks are what Netbooks should have been, not everything has to be tied to Microsoft. I think Chromebooks fills in nicely into the niche between a full laptop and a tablet, don't see why Chromebooks can't be successful. As more marketshare is taken over by Chromebooks, you'll probably see more applications forthcoming, wish it could use the Android apps, then I'd have already bought one.


By jimbojimbo on 12/27/2013 2:31:19 PM , Rating: 2
I'm thinking of doing exactly that. I had the very original Chromebook that Google was handing out and couldn't use it really for what I do. However for my parents it's perfect as long as it can support an old printer that they have. The only thing they do on it is browse the web and print stuff they find interesting.


RE: Impressive growth in Chromebooks
By Orionds on 12/27/2013 6:21:21 AM , Rating: 2
Chromebooks fill a need in terms of what users would like to do and pay.

Some people I know tell me that netbooks are now non-existent. I took their word for it but when I searched for notebooks, I find that many are 10 to 12-inch models (with a couple of 7-inch ones!).

The first netbooks were under $500. Many notebooks (with 11 and 12-inch screens) are being sold from $250 to $350 (7-inch at $99!). So, these are still very much in netbook territory.

Netbooks have only evolved and still very much alive. I use mine for multimedia processing besides net use.

The last 4 "netbooks" I bought all have 10-inch screens. Netbooks are dead - yes - but only because people have stopped calling them netbooks - manufacturers and vendors included.


RE: Impressive growth in Chromebooks
By nafhan on 12/27/2013 10:31:04 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
If they still have relevant market share in 2 years, I'll admit I am wrong.
Seems like this is at least a good possibility.

More important than "Chromebooks" is the clear indication that many people are not strongly tied to traditional desktop software anymore. If you can easily switch between Windows, OSX, and Chrome OS, the OS suddenly becomes a LOT less important* - potentially (and finally) breaking MS's desktop hegemony. I could care less if Chrome OS is viable long term. This is enabling consumer choice, and that's a good thing.

*That's a lot more of a bad thing for MS than it is for hardware designers (i.e. Apple) or service providers (i.e. Google). This probably played strongly into MS's decision to start making their own hardware and buy Nokia.


RE: Impressive growth in Chromebooks
By Argon18 on 12/30/2013 9:19:34 AM , Rating: 2
"But will it last? I see Chromebooks as the latest fad like netbooks were."

Two key difference between the netbook era and today:

1. Consumer mobile computing has trended sharply towards web-based services and applications. Your average consumer doesn't buy much retail software off the shelf.

2. The concept of an "app store" is now a generally accepted one, no longer an Apple-specific entity. The Google Play store that people are familiar with from their phones, they can now use on a laptop.

Remember, your average consumer doesn't buy a laptop to run MS Office apps. They want a laptop to do web and email on the go. So long as they can do Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, online shopping (Amazon) and their online banking and bill paying, that satisfies 96% of consumers. And none of that requires Microsoft Windows or Office. It seems the age of Linux on the desktop (or laptop, as the case may be) is finally upon us.


By sedrosken on 1/1/2014 9:39:09 PM , Rating: 2
I see it this way as well - - but at least netbooks ran Windows and could run the same things. I get Office 365's point - to have Office with you wherever you go, but what happens if you can't use the internet? Chrome OS seems to me to be based only on the internet. What about people who have limits in how much data they can access, because it's either a mobile WiFi unit or dial-up where they live?


By McGaiden on 1/11/2014 11:57:10 AM , Rating: 2
Yes, it will last, at least it will last longer than netbooks.

The only reason to get Win8 today is for office and for games. If you don't play a lot of games and you have no need for office in your home, Chromebooks are an excellent option. And at any rate, you can write in .docx format using Google Docs which reduces the need for MS Office even further.

We want Chromebooks to grow, but not too much. Google is already becoming hegemonic in tablets and smartphones and if they take over laptops and desktops there will be no real hindrance for them to become like MS was at its peak but even worse.

But how are Chromebooks selling outside of America, though? How well are they selling in Germany, Korea, Chile or Taiwan?


"What would I do? I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders." -- Michael Dell, after being asked what to do with Apple Computer in 1997














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