#chrome os

More on Microsoft’s Chromebook nightmare, Miguel Helft:

But a story close to home gave me reason to think that Chromebooks are the latest headache for Microsoft, which has struggled to gain traction in phones and tablets at a time when growth in the PC market has stalled. At the public elementary school that my two sons attend in Oakland, the parent teacher association, on whose board I serve, recently decided to purchase 36 Chromebooks for students in the fourth grade. A few weeks later, we received news that the school district would purchase an additional 70 or so Chromebooks — and would upgrade the Wi-Fi in the school so all the new machines could work simultaneously. This allows half of fourth and fifth graders to work on computers at any one time, if their teachers decide it’s appropriate.

What was striking was not so much that a school in an urban district would purchase 100 Chromebooks, but that there was never any discussion of purchasing Windows machines. When an alternative to the Chromebooks was discussed, the conversation was about Macs — of which there are several in the school library, media lab, and some classrooms — or iPads.

While only anecdotal, this sure sounds like the ultimately disaster scenario for Microsoft.

Gregg Keizer:

By NPD’s tallies, Chromebooks accounted for 21% of all U.S. commercial notebook sales in 2013 through November, and 10% of all computers and tablets. Both shares were up massively from 2012; last year, Chromebooks accounted for an almost-invisible two-tenths of one percent of all computer and tablet sales.

Stephen Baker of NPD pointed out what others had said previously: Chromebooks have capitalized on Microsoft’s stumble with Windows 8. “Tepid Windows PC sales allowed brands with a focus on alternative form factors or operating systems, like Apple and Samsung, to capture significant share of a market traditionally dominated by Windows devices,” Baker said in a Monday statement.

Part of the attraction of Chromebooks is their low prices: The systems forgo high-resolution displays, rely on inexpensive graphics chipsets, include paltry amounts of RAM — often just 2GB — and get by with little local storage. And their operating system, Chrome OS, doesn’t cost computer makers a dime.

Even more remarkable: two Chromebooks, one by Samsung and one by Acer, are the two best-selling laptops on all of Amazon (and a second Acer model is #5).

It perhaps took a bit longer than originally anticipated, but The Microsoft Squeeze is now being fully applied.

Agam Shah reporting on the news that AMD is now committing to chips that will run both Android and Chrome OS:

"We are very committed to Windows 8; we think it’s a great operating system, but we also see a market for Android and Chrome developing as well," Su said.

AMD previously said it had no interest in Android and that its chips would be exclusively tuned for Microsoft’s Windows 8. 

Things change.

Windows 8 itself is still not successful. The whole market didn’t come back to growth after the Windows 8 launch, that’s a simple way to judge if it is successful or not.

Acer President Jim Wong, talking to Tim Culpan and Debra Mao of BloombergBusinessweek.

Meanwhile, he sounds fairly bullish on Chrome OS, which seems to be the first time anyone has sounded bullish on Chrome OS since its launch. Perhaps the squeeze is finally on.

Thoughts On The Latest Chromebook And The State Of Chrome OS

I’ve watched Chrome with much interest over the years. While lately I’ve been generally harsh on a number of Google products, there’s still no doubt in my mind that when it comes to the browser — at least on the desktop — Google is winning. That’s a big part of why Chrome OS fascinates me.

Chrome OS is Google taking their best product and broadening its reach. The aim isn’t just to erase the stain that is Internet Explorer (which sure seems to be working), it’s to go after one of Microsoft’s legs: Windows. So far, it doesn’t appear to be working.

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Google Is Making A Killing Off Of Android — And By “Google” I Actually Mean “Microsoft”

1. Gotta love Frank Shaw, Microsoft’s head of corporate comm. (Unless you’re Google, of course.)

2. It’s actually over 70%.

3. Holy shit, over 70% of the Android phones sold in the U.S. are now contributing money to Microsoft’s pockets. Microsoft, not Google. 

4. Given the volume we’re talking about, Microsoft has to be making more from Android than from Windows Phone, right? 

LG is the newest member of Microsoft’s patent protection posse. The most notable hold out? Motorola, which, of course, is in the process of being acquired by Google. That’s one way to avoid the fee, I guess.

Steve Ballmer is getting a lot of love today (the press builds you up to knock you down to build you up again). Whether you think it’s evil or evil genius on Microsoft’s part to pursue these agreements, Ballmer was right: Android is not free, you have to pay Microsoft to use it.

I wonder if there’s a point where this stops making sense for certain OEMs? Certainly, it makes sense for Samsung, which is doing very well with Android and is likely happy to avoid anymore patent lawsuit headaches lingering over them. But what about the others not doing so hot? If they’re going to pay Microsoft, shouldn’t they at least get something out of it? Like say, a license for Windows Phone? These are the questions.

The other aspect that isn’t talked about a lot: Chrome OS. It’s another free Google OS that you pay Microsoft to use.

He makes the argument that Google’s Blogger outage negates their big push for moving to the cloud made this week at I/O. In other words, more FUD.

First of all, using Blogger as the example is stupid. Blogging without the cloud? What a genius idea. 

Second, his “question” is what if this had happened to Google Docs? Well, offline Gmail, Docs, and Calendar are exactly what Google has been using internally for months and stated at I/O that they would ship this summer. 

Microsoft and its extensions are clearly scared shitless of the concept of Chrome OS. That’s not to say Chromebooks will be a slam dunk hit — we’ll see. But the concept of simple, cheap, fast machines that don’t run Windows and keep everything synced in the cloud is a very compelling one. 

I still see this as a big part of the Microsoft “squeeze”. Chromebooks and iPads pressure Windows from below. Macs pressure from above.

Knee-Jerk Cr-48 Reaction

Chrome OS has awesome, awesome potential.

The Cr-48 trackpad is one of the worst things I’ve ever had the privilege of using.

It should surprise absolutely no one that they’re not actually releasing this product. But it is surprising just how many people, namely press, that they’re sending it to. You can say “ignore the hardware” all you want, but it still is the crucial entry point. It almost ruins the entire thing. They should have just sent out Chrome OS loaded on some Eee PCs.

All that said, the battery life appears to be amazing. Better-than-MacBook-Air-amazing. Need to test it out more though. More to come on TechCrunch, I’m sure.