2Sales 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?
3Perception 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.
4The 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.
5The 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.
6PC 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.
7There’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.
8The 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.
9It 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.
10Google 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.
11Google 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.