For many months now, Chromebook sales have grown, slowly but steadily, even managing to outsell Macs for the first time ever earlier this year. And it’s only going to get better from here on out.
“Chromebooks?” You ask. Well, yes, those Chromebooks; made by a wide range of manufacturers, working with Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL)’s Chrome OS, offering bare minimum specs, relying on cloud storage instead of physical and an Internet connection.
Much like Android, Chrome OS is installed on laptops produced by a wide range of companies, including Lenovo, Dell, and HP. The best part about these computers is the low price range, the most expensive costing just a few hundred bucks. Now, when you compare these with Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)‘s Macs, for instance, you see a huge gap. When you compare them with Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) products, you’ll once more see a large difference in the price department.
We’re not even going to mention those new top-of-the-line $3,000 desktops they’ve unveiled recently because they may have the specs, but they cost an arm and a leg.
Of course, these differences are explained, in part, by the fact that Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL)’s Chromebooks use Chrome OS which is free, so companies don’t have to pay licensing fees for installing them on their laptops, and neither do the users. Then, it’s the rather low specs that come with these laptops. Since they’re created for Internet browsing and browser-based gaming, they don’t really need much to work with and Chrome OS is good at milking everything the hardware can give anyway.
There are also several other differences between these companies. Microsoft’s laptops are self-made, and so are Apple’s Macs, whilst Google’s Chromebooks are made by a wide range of manufacturers. This is similar to how things are going with each of these companies’ mobile operating systems, where Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) make their own, Android phones are largely made by other companies, leaving out, of course, the latest Pixel phones, where Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL)’s Google division went all-in. The company’s involvement in the Pixel phones indicates, once more, that Alphabet is looking to get involved in the hardware side of business, something they’ve been meaning to do for a while now.
Slow but steady
In a world where PC shipments are crashing, Chromebooks are winning ground. IDC reported earlier this year that there’s been a year-on-year 3.9% decline in worldwide PC shipments. In the same time, Chromebook sales kept growing, especially among youngsters. For this year’s first quarter, estimates indicate it sold 2 million laptops, while Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) only managed to sell 1.7 million Macs in the same period of time.
The advantage Alphabet Inc’s (NASDAQ:GOOGL) Chromebooks have over devices such as those produced by Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) or even Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) goes beyond the price range; it’s how easy they are to operate by even the most inexperienced users. They’re not only particularly perfect for students, which is also one of the main groups of people that is using Chromebooks, but also for seniors who don’t spend their time playing MMORPGS that need loads of hard drive space, tons of RAM and a top of the line graphics card. They’re easy to work with, easy to maintain, inexpensive and largely free of malware and viruses.
A little bit more secure
Unlike Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)’s operating system or Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s Mac OS, Chromebooks aren’t being targeted by those seeking to do harm just to test out their latest virus. Unless we’re talking about a targeted attack, there haven’t been many issues with Chrome OS security. In fact, they’re not even on the radar of big antivirus companies due to the low risk they pose. Unlike on Windows or Mac, here you can just go to the web store, pick your apps and have fun. You don’t have to look through a gazillion sites for tools that can help you in your job, install software that you may or may not be sure about, and put your security at risk while you’re doing that.
As long as you make sure to only install verified software from the Web Store and you don’t go through with clicking on a certain link even when Chrome has advised you against it, you should be pretty safe. It’s a similar sense of security that Mac users used to have years ago, if you will.
Some extra caution should be expressed when installing Android apps, however, now that this is an option for many Chromebook users. After all, attacks on Android devices have been known to happen quite often, including ransomware-type attacks where your data is stolen.
A growing slice of the pie
Since Chromebooks are sold by so many manufacturers, it’s a pretty difficult job to figure out just what the real numbers are. After all, when Lenovo gives out its quarterly numbers, for instance, it won’t specify how many of those had Chrome OS installed, right? Well, thankfully, there’s a way to tell what market share Chromebooks have by checking out sites such as StatCounter which analyze how many users certain operating systems have.
According to their data, in September 2016 Chrome OS had a market share of 0.65%, quite a bit over the share it had in the same month of 2015 when the number sat at 0.41%. Of course, those aren’t big numbers compared to the likes of Windows or even Mac, but it’s a growing number.
However, what these numbers indicate is the need for Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) to hype up its marketing efforts. While the US has already gotten the hang of what Chromebooks can do, especially thanks to the educational program Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) launched, offering low-cost laptops for students and schools, there’s much that can be done overseas.
There are so many benefits to Chromebooks and, against general opinion, they don’t need to be connected to the Internet around the clock. There are loads of apps that work offline too, including these 11 best offline apps for Chrome and Chrome OS. There are a lot of tools you can work with, including these 5 best Chromebook apps for writing and editing. Students are probably already familiar with these 6 best Google apps for education.
The Chrome world is one that keeps expanding and that has something for anyone and everyone. It’s a world that will keep attracting people, young and old, particularly through its simplicity. And this is how Google is slowly killing Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) with its Chromebooks.