Chromebook gains, Microsoft worries

Chromebook gains, Microsoft worries

Summary: NPD reveals that Chromebook sales are exploding and Microsoft is starting to get worried.


Some people still pooh-pooh the idea that Chromebooks could ever come close to challenging Windows PCs. NPD's latest laptop sales numbers say otherwise. Chromebook sales are zooming upward, while Windows laptop sales are stagnant. 

Chromebook Pixel
Chromebooks continue to gain in popularity and Microsoft is getting a wee-bit worried.

Microsoft knows what's happening. Microsoft's recent push to combat Chromebook sales with low-priced Windows laptops makes it clear that Microsoft is aware of the threat Chromebooks pose to its desktop dominance.

According to NPD, a market-analysis firm that tracks retail sales, "Chromebook sales within the US Commercial Channel increased 250 percent year-over-year and accounted for 35 percent of all channel notebooks sales." Not too shabby.

Meanwhile, over at Amazon, Chromebooks, which have long dominated laptop sales, continue to be popular. As of July 20, of Amazon's top-ten best-selling laptops, five are Chromebooks, four run Windows, and there's one solitary Macbook Air.

In the larger arena, NPD found "total notebook sales … increased 36 percent, desktop sales jumped 24 percent, and overall PC client volume rose by 1 million units so far this year. Windows notebook sales were flat and Macbook sales increased more than 20 percent."

So where does the bulk of that notebook increase comes from? Chromebooks, of course.

"For the three weeks ending June 7, Chromebook sales made up more than 40 percent of Commercial Channel notebook sales, a significant bump from the 35 percent year-to-date." This sales bump is happening well in advance of school computer shopping where the Chromebook vendors expect to do extremely well.

“Building on last year’s surprising strength, Chrome’s unit strength ahead of this year’s education buying season shows how it has become a legitimate third platform alongside Windows and Mac OS X and iOS," said Stephen Baker, NPD's vice president of industry analysis.

Baker continued: "The next test for Chrome will clearly be the most difficult, as both Apple and Microsoft get more aggressive in pricing and deal making over the next few months. By the end of the third quarter, we will have a much clearer picture of the long-term impact Chromebooks will have in the commercial channel."

Find it hard to believe that Chromebooks can be so popular? Ask Dell what they think about the matter.

Dell had to stop selling its Chromebook 11 because it couldn't keep up with the demand. In a statement to CNET, a Dell representative said, "Due to strong demand, the Dell Chromebook 11 is currently not available for order on It continues to be available for our Education customers and can be ordered through their sales representative. We will offer it for sale again on as soon as possible."

Last, but oh so telling, Microsoft recently put up a site explaining why Windows laptops are better than Chromebooks.

Starting to get a little worried by Chromebooks,  Microsoft? It sure looks like it.

Related Stories:

Topics: Hardware, Google, Laptops, Linux, Microsoft, Windows

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  • Still chromebook doesn't sell

    Chromebooks are from the past, it's another form of the terminal and mainframe idea,
    Sorry to say that, but the world doesn't move backward, no one can live only with a chromebook, which is an underpowered with a stripped down OS.
    it's selling less units that the MAC, and we all know that Macintosh sales are not a threat to Windows.
    Windows is still dominant, and it will be dominant, you can't beat windows until you come up with something better, that's the problem with everyone trying to compete to Microsoft, they only want to take credits from ppl who hate microsoft (for political reasons).
    you can't beat windows and microsoft by the high schools movies way you think "We will do the show in the farm, and everybody will like us!".
    This is not a high school movie, this is real live.
    • im sold

      i can only speak for my family, and we "can live with only a chromebook", and have been doing so for about 1 year now. like you, mr fady, i had thought the same thing, until i used one. this family found out we have no need for anything more than a " underpowered & stripped down os". chrome has proven to be a fit for our needs.
      • Tried...

        it's a surf the web device now. Any word work... has to be done on a laptop, but it's cute.
        • Chromebooks are going to run Android apps as well

          One thing people forget that Google announced at Google I/O was that Chrome OS and Chromebooks are going to be able to run Android apps as well as everything currently. That is a big draw for me, and I am sure if others knew, then I think it would be a big plus for them as well.
          • May be so, but this article is based on made up facts...

            Check the Amazon link in the article-- Unlike what the author reports, EIGHT of the top ten laptops on Amazon are Win8 laptops, and two are Chrome Books. In the top 20 there is no Mac Book.

            Looks like there are a lot of false assertions here to make the case that Windows are out, and the world is adopting Chrome OS.

            Hence, if you like Chrome keep using it, but you won't have much company any time soon.
          • LOL!

            Android sucks for work too you silly little shill.
        • It's actually not.

          Not true. The document app free on Drive is 99% as robust as Word with some loss of functionality in terms of tables only, Excel is 98% identical with the main difference being related to scripting, Power Point is close but furthest from MS versions lacking audio support and a huge library of transitions or the ability to export to a movie. But all of these read MS format and convert very well. For the average user it could be the only machine they use.
          • Excel: All or nothing

            Not an excel power user but I'd say anything with features less than 100% that of MS excel is good as nothing. Maybe even worse.

            I Agree with this though:
            "For the average user it could be the only machine they use."

            I love how things are nowadays. I Personally prefer windows but it feels comforting to think that there's another choice. More competition=faster tech inovation=happy consumers.

            I hope the smartphone market becomes this close to having healthy dynamics.
      • And then..

        You realize that Chromebook only offers a smidgen of what Windows offers.. I've owned the Chromebook with open expectations only to find out it tells ME what to do.. go out and buy a cloud based printer, go out and buy this and that.. when I already have everything I need that works with Windows already. I'm sorry but if you can give me 5 things Chrome offers that Windows doesn't or hasn't already for the past 20 years then by all means enlighten me and I will give you 5 reasons for every reason you give me to stay Windows. You can make anything work if you try hard enough but sadly just like the Linux guys, you always have a better alternative that no one really cares about.
      • If the ChromeBook meets ALL of your needs, then fine. The problem ...

        ... for many of us is that it can't run MS Office, it can't run Quicken, and it can't run TurboTax. And those are just personal needs. It can meet my professional IT needs either. It cannot run Outlook, or Lync.

        In order to use a ChromeBook in my professional life, I would need a Citrix Receiver so I can connect to my employer's Citrix farm. But, if I am going to do that, I might as well buy a Windows netbook for the same price and actually be able to run my most commonly used tools natively. Oh, and then I can use my personal productivity tools for home as well.

        There is a
        M Wagner
        • Ironically....

          IT can read and write in MS Office format, Turbo Tax is web based and so works fine, and I suspect it has it's own version of Quicken in the App Market.
      • You have a family full of idiots.

        Simple as that. You would be far better off with a tablet of any kind, and have far more functionality to boot.
    • "Still chromebook doesn't sell"

      And denial is a river in Egypt.

      this post is absolutely back to front; Chromebooks, using wifi and the cloud are the future. Windows, rooted in 1990s technology and unable to shake off 1990s attitudes is the past.

      But this is exactly what we've come to expect from the Religious fanbois of the Great God Microsoft - they are just incapable of dealing with facts.

      LoveWrong, FenceShredder and O'Farrell will be along shortly to share their combined illogic on the matter. Let's hop BusterBraincell is off today.
      • Finally!

        Heenan's true colors appear for all to see. The funny thing is that he is accusing all of these other posters as "Religious fanbois" when Heenan is one in the same. Chromebooks aren't going anywhere - they will end up like Surface RT - a niche product with no market.
        • I go on Evidence ..

          .. not Faith.

          And the evidence is, Chromebooks are doing very well, despite your faith telling you they are "a niche product with no market." Did Santa tell you that?

          There's no secrets with me; I've been entirely consistent in arguing for Chromebook, ever since October 2012. Sorry you missed it.

          But I'm no fanboi; I'm just a value for money freak, who knows good news when I see it.

          Unlike some, Chromebooks don't need fanbois. The evidence is there for all to see.

          (except those whose religion stops them looking). Try one. Open your eyes.
          • Tried it

            Its crap! That doesn't mean others will have the same experience, some may feel its solves all their problems others may feel as I do that its limited and doesn't provide capability of other environments and ecosystems, but all this said, you are indeed a Linux/Android/UNIX fanboy as SJVN is, you both belong to the same very small and limited club. And as you say... the evidence is clear.
          • Android coming soon to Chromebooks

            When People will be able to run both Chrome apps and Android apps. You will see even more come over and start using Chromebooks. Mark my words. ;-)
          • I've used Chrome OS.

            Went through an entire year using one, in fact.

            I didn't like it.

            For the money, it simply didn't do enough.

            Even if it was good as a browser, people do more than surf the internet.

            Also, I don't believe you when you call yourself someone who "goes on evidence".

            That kind of person wouldn't brand people who disagreed with him/her as "religious" types.
          • Ah, but managment is awesome.

            Wipe it and it rebuilds automatically, close the lid and you're logged out, open it and when a user logs in they get that user's apps not yours. Simple interface, no tiles, it's very familiar. Virus proof. If you want something to play games and need Windows fine, but if you have a company and want to stop that type of thing it's nice. Give someone one of these and you get control, ease of setup, ease of support, and device tracking.
          • You go on what you wish

            Not on Evidence .

            I would have thought you realized by now.

            More amusing is how you now search for those who shine a light on to your deception.

            Fear I would imagine.