Google Keeps Slowly Building Acceptance of Chromebooks: 10 Reasons Why

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2013-10-10 Print this article Print

Microsoft's worst nightmare might soon become a reality: PC vendors are looking to partner with others, like Google, to build their product lines. On Oct. 8, Google announced a partnership with Hewlett-Packard to deliver a new Chromebook. The computer, Chromebook 11, costs just $279 and features an 11-inch display. Google says the Chromebook 11 proves its line of Chrome OS-based products is now in the "mainstream." But Microsoft's dominance in the PC landscape seems to suggest the platform has a long way to go to be a true Windows threat. Still, Google's HP partnership is important. The deal between the companies indicates Google might be on to something with its Chromebooks. As Windows PC sales continue their grudging retreat, Chromebook sales are up. In fact, research firm NPD released a study in July that contends Chromebooks now account for 20 to 25 percent of all U.S. notebook sales. That success, coupled with Google's hope of thwarting Microsoft at every turn, is driving the search company's investment in Chromebooks, which now appear to be a solid bet for Google. This eWEEK slide show looks at why Google remained stubbornly committed to Chromebooks despite initial resistance to the platform.

  • Google Keeps Slowly Building Acceptance of Chromebooks: 10 Reasons Why

    by Don Reisinger
    1 - Google Keeps Slowly Building Acceptance of Chromebooks: 10 Reasons Why
  • Sales Are Soaring

    Although Chromebooks got off to an inauspicious start, things have been going well lately. As noted, Chromebooks now account for between one-fifth and one-fourth of all current laptop sales in the U.S. Overall, in North America, Chromebooks hold a 5 percent market share. While this still isn't much, it's much higher than the slender fraction of sales it had last year. If sales are up, why not invest in Chromebooks?
    2 - Sales Are Soaring
  • Perception of Chrome OS Is Changing

    Chrome OS was once viewed as a weak alternative to Windows when one considered that it wouldn't work well offline because there were no stand-alone apps for it. But that was the whole point. Chromebooks are meant to work online with cloud apps. But, now, users are finding that Chromebooks and their applications work just fine offline and then synchronize with the cloud when they are logged back online. Chrome OS is now showing that it can be a true competitor to traditional operating systems.
    3 - Perception of Chrome OS Is Changing
  • The Prices Are Where They Need to Be

    If Chromebooks were setting customers back $400 or more, there's no way they'd be competitive with other PC models. Google, however, committed itself to low pricing as evidenced by the Chromebook 11's $279 price tag. By offering devices at a lower price, Google and its hardware vendor partners can make a compelling argument to choose their products over tablets and lightweight notebooks. Perhaps that's why sales are up.
    4 - The Prices Are Where They Need to Be
  • The World Is Moving to the Web

    Google didn't want to drop Chromebooks when they were clearly ahead of the curve. So why would they cut back on them now when cloud-based services are starting to become the norm in many offices around the world and consumers are finding that that they can work productively in the cloud. Google is moving to the Web with Chrome OS at a time when people around the world are considering that they can do everything they need to do online. It's a smart move on Google's part.
    5 - The World Is Moving to the Web
  • PC Vendors Are Looking for Other Partners

    For years, PC vendors wouldn't consider working with any OS or applications company besides Microsoft or offering computers that were running an operating system other than Windows. But with Windows 8 having trouble establishing a foothold in the PC market, companies like HP, Dell, Acer and others are realizing that it might a good time to diversify by working with Google on Chromebooks.
    6 - PC Vendors Are Looking for Other Partners
  • There's An Ecosystem Opportunity

    The technology world is abuzz with talk of the so-called "ecosystem." Although the term is subjective and can have different definitions in different situations, lately, the term has described a company's ability to deliver an operating system, application marketplace and full integration with its other services on one product platform. Google has done that extremely well with Chromebooks. And the more consumers invest in the operating system, the more Google will be able to keep them using Google Search, the Chrome browser, and its many other online services. It's a masterful plan.
    7 - There's An Ecosystem Opportunity
  • The Web's Reliance On Google Soars

    If Google wants anything, it's to ensure the Internet needs its services over the long-term. If Chromebooks' popularity continues to rise, there's a chance that the search company will convince Web application developers to create apps for Chrome OS and update their online services to appeal to the operating system's users. This will only add momentum to the acceptance of Chrome OS and Chromebooks.
    8 - The Web's Reliance On Google Soars
  • It Also Addresses the Internet Explorer, Firefox Issue

    By getting people to Chrome OS, Google can employ a one-two punch in its fight against Microsoft and Mozilla in the browser market. Sure, Google has Chrome to compete with Firefox and Internet Explorer, but the more Chromebooks it sells, the more it's moving users away from Internet Explorer and Firefox. If Chromebooks eventually take a sizable chunk of the marketplace, look for Chrome to start challenging the dominant browsers.
    9 - It Also Addresses the Internet Explorer, Firefox Issue
  • Google Believes There's An Enterprise Opportunity

    Google has said since Chrome OS launched that it can attract enterprise customers with its platform. Although most CIOs have decided to stick with Windows, a growing contingent of people believes Chromebooks might actually work for enterprise customers. A July report from Forrester Research said enterprises should consider investing in Chromebooks for several reasons, including the ability to focus on "innovation, not maintenance" along with its appeal as a "collaborative computing" opportunity. Google's case is also bolstered by its enterprise-friendly services, like Google Apps.
    10 - Google Believes There's An Enterprise Opportunity
  • Google Has the Cash (and Time)

    There's no debating that Chrome OS has a long way to go to be a formidable Windows competitor. The world needs several more years to catch up to Google's vision of total reliance on cloud computing, but the search giant doesn't appear to care. Google has the cash to continue to improve Chromebooks to make them as appealing as possible for the time when users are ready for its platform. Google realized that it doesn't need to make Chrome OS an overnight hit. It has the time to evangelize PC users to accept its way of thinking.
    11 - Google Has the Cash (and Time)

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