When the first Chromebooks came out, few people dared to predict how cheap machines powered by Google’s Chromium-based operating system would be able to gain a foothold in a market dominated by Windows and macOS. However, 10 years later, Chromebooks are still with us, and last year they had a particularly good year.
According to IDC, 2020 was the first full year that more Chrome OS-enabled machines were released worldwide than from options running macOS. Chromebooks ’market share of 5.3% in the first quarter gained 14.4% in the last quarter, but Apple can also be happy as Macs grew from 5.8% in Q1 to 7.7% the Q4 value.
The move to Chrome OS may actually be more of a concern for Microsoft, as Chromebooks compete in the cheaper segment, where Apple isn’t trying to break into laurels, offering the iPad as an alternative. Looking at the aggregation, IDC says Windows share fell 4.9% to 80.5% in 2020 compared to 2019, while Chrome OS grew 4.4% to 10.8%. and macOS also increased by 0.8% to 7.5%.
According to IDC, COVID-19, like almost everything else in the world, has played an important role in boosting demand for Chromebooks. Compulsory home office and distance learning have generated a huge demand for low-cost, easy-to-use devices, in the market of which machines with Chrome OS have been a factor so far. As a result, four times as many Chromebooks found owners in 2020 as in 2019.
Looking at last year’s data, the most interesting question is whether the increased enthusiasm surrounding Chromebooks will persist after the pandemic, or whether people prefer to return to traditional solutions. In any case, Microsoft has recognized the threat, and their answer may be Windows 10X, which is expected to arrive in the spring.
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