It sucks to be a Microsoft nowadays. It used to be that Microsoft was the 800-pound-gorilla of the tech space. Anywhere you look, Microsoft was there, regardless of what kind of software you run. Microsoft was the overarching technology giant of the market. Well, that’s no longer the case. Microsoft was beaten by Apple in the mobile music space with the launch of the iPod. Apple created a new market with the iPhone and the iPad. Microsoft was nowhere to be found. If anything, Microsoft just played second fiddle. It became “me too” company trying to make its Windows operating system relevant to a fast changing world. This is illustrated by its disappointing roll out of windows 8. Well, many Microsoft fans at least comfort themselves with the fact that Microsoft still owns the operating system market. Microsoft Windows still run on the vast majority of computers the world over. The once and future challenger to this dominance, Linux, is pretty much dead in the water. It is stuck at a very anemic growth rate and it doesn’t seem to be growing. While many people got turned on to the Macintosh or to the Mac, thanks to Apple’s dominance of the smartphone and tablet market, the mac is still a minority operating system. Windows is the king when it comes to personal computer operating systems.
Well, that may no longer be the case if current sales figures for the Chromebook continues. Twenty-one percent of notebook sales went to Chromebook devices. If this trend continues, Microsoft may lose the war in the operating system market. Chromebook is a very simple device that uses Google’s Chrome operating system to connect to the internet to call resources to run your computer. So, it doesn’t need fancy hardware, it doesn’t need all sorts of expensive hardware to run, also, the software is free. This is why the Chromebook is such an attractive laptop option compared to the traditional Windows and Intel based laptop and desktop. Those devices can set you back anywhere from 300 to a thousand or more dollars. Chromebook can be as cheap as 199 dollars or less. If you throw in commercial interest from Chinese or other low cost manufacturers, the price probably even crash through the floor.
If I was working at Microsoft right now, I’d be waking up with a cold sweat in the middle of the night. You don’t want to lose the operating system market. It’s one of the most consistent cash cow’s Microsoft has and Microsoft cannot lose this battle.