If you’re heading off or back to university or school in general this fall, you might be shopping for a new laptop to replace the one that limps along with you in your satchel, briefcase, or backpack. And chances are, you’ll be looking across the latest crop of Windows, Mac, and Chrome OS laptops, considering the best of each platform, making sure you can live with the worst of each as well. Well, if you’re one of the people who doesn’t really rely on any OS-specific feature set, and whichever is more popular is more important, it’s finally Google’s Chrome OS.
In past years, specifically since Chrome OS has struggled because of software, hardware, or a combination of the two, Windows has typically been the most-demanded OS, with Apple’s Mac OS computers’ popularity continuing to rise annually. But since Chrome OS has found a home in tens of laptops, with all except a few being under $400, Google’s OS has been gaining speed, topping Amazon’s best-rated laptops section over past holiday shopping times, as well as adding features to itself that aim to draw the dollars of hesitant possible customers.
Now, the browser-gone-OS has hit the peak in sales demand, according to NPD, and here’s how the rest of those numbers fell, as well as some background to set this scene. The first half of 2015 has seen tablets and laptops become altogether less popular and less purchased, but Google’s Chromebook lineup has increased 43% alone, helping to single-handedly keep the market from declining. And, while Chrome OS-powered computer sales increased enough to take over 50% of the shipments this first half of the year, it beat out Windows-powered laptops and continued to top Macbooks.
The promising aspect of this is that, while many previously assumed that since tablets exist laptops would fade and simply pass on their keyboards to the tablet market, the laptop market has failed to decline, while tablets have continued, at a slower rate, their declining popularity. Chrome OS, despite the continued popularity and sometimes necessity of a more program-based OS, has drawn the purchase of many wishing and wanting for the ease of use that Chrome as a browser brings, as well as the battery efficiency that running Chrome OS brings with it, especially for the sub-$400 consideration.