Amazon Chromebook Is No. 1

Samsung’s Google Chromebook is outselling MacBooks and notebooks with larger screens and larger hard drives. I guess it’s the software people love or the price …
Amazong_best_selling_chromebook

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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22 Responses to Amazon Chromebook Is No. 1

  1. GNU/Linux netbooks did not lose. They were excluded from the market by exclusive dealing. They were selling well and people liked them until OEMs began exclusively pushing XP.

    The reasons given in TFA are mostly irrelevant. Stocks sold out globally. People liked the price, the size and the performance. Most consumers don’t particularly care about those things in the list.

    Again, GNU/Linux is selling on all formats of PC but it’s harder to get huge market-share with no salesmen. Google and friends have loads of salesmen. Those salesmen could sell GNU/Linux just as well if they wanted.

    The app stores are a big plus for the Android/Linux systems but GNU/Linux has had package managers long ago. They worked then and they still work. I was playing around with a virtual machine today. With just a couple of hundred packages I can get a basic functional OS. With a few hundred more I can get a basic functional desktop/server OS. There’s very little an OEM or retailer or consumer would lack using GNU/Linux instead of Android/Linux. e.g. I found a decent free Android app for ballistics. On GNU/Linux I have gebc and it rocks. Same for just about anything that matters.

  2. eug says:

    According to a recent ZDnet article Amazon’s top selling laptop runs a flavour of Linux. By default the Samsung Chromebook runs a stripped down operating system with the Linux kernel at its core. However, the enterprising engineers in the openSUSE community saw an opportunity to make the most out of the device and ported openSUSE 12.2 to run on the Chromebook. The small device is able to run the Xfce desktop and the ported version of openSUSE supports wireless networking. “… a small team of SUSE engineers and openSUSE community members have been working on supporting the ARM Chromebook with openSUSE, and can now report their first success: a `mostly working’ openSUSE 12.2 image that you can boot from (using a USB stick so the stock image is left untouched). This image already includes a usable Xfce desktop.”

    http://distrowatch.com/weekly.php?issue=20130114

  3. d. says:

    “Google restricts the use of the SDK to provide a standard for development of Android applications. They would not have any control over that if the SDK were GPL, for instance, and then naysayers would be claiming Android is fragmented…”

    That’s just bonkers. That’s the sort of excuses I’m used to hearing from MS fanbois, not from self-proclaimed FOSS proponents…

    They could put their SDK under the GPL and they could still control its development, there’s nothing saying they couldn’t. Sure, someone could fork their own version of it, but so what? Shouldn’t people be allowed to do that if they wanted? And if Google made a good enough product on their own, people would have no reason to fork.

    What I’m saying is, that Google doesn’t really love FOSS. They don’t want to work together with the community, giving and receiving – that’s what the GPL license does best, it makes it possible for companies, even companies that normally compete with each other, to put aside their differences and collaborate on a project for common benefit. Google doesn’t want to collaborate, they don’t want to contribute to FOSS, they only want to use FOSS when it benefits Google.

    By the way, I’ve been recently using DuckDuckGo instead of Google for my search needs, and I’ve found it works at least equally well – even better for some searches. Not to mention the entire search engine is open source, and unlike Google it doesn’t record any user data and respects your privacy. I like that.

  4. THR wrote, “We all know why you champion Google — because you hate Microsoft.

    Nope. I loved Google long before they competed with M$. I was using Hotmail long ago and tried a couple of other mail providers before I was invited to Gmail. I loved it. No spam to speak of… At the time I was using AltaVista and Mama.com as search engines. I found Google to be superior. Then came Chrome browser… What’s not to love about Google? Great products at great prices = love. With M$ every product is about lock-in and even the freebies gave problems. I had more spam than ham with Hotmail. I had BSODs with the OS I paid for… I had malware with the OS I paid for. GNU/Linux fixed that for me and Google contributes to Linux at least. Then there’s Android/Linux. I use it a bit when the little woman leaves me the smartphone. Android/Linux works well as a networking device and as a consumer device. It does everything I need on a client device except keyboard and screensize but I can use it rather easily and it’s very reliable. What’s not to love about a company that produces such great software and shares it? Love can be very rational too.

  5. THR says:

    Bla bla bla. Bob making excuses on behalf of Google again. We all know why you champion Google — because you hate Microsoft. No, Bob, hate is always irrational. Always.

  6. d. referred to an article critical of Google’s handling of Android. That’s true but slanted. Google restricts the use of the SDK to provide a standard for development of Android applications. They would not have any control over that if the SDK were GPL, for instance, and then naysayers would be claiming Android is fragmented…

    “Google has just come through a searching examination of its claims to ownership of the Android mobile operating system

    Google was accused of both copyright infringement and patent violation; the former claim was upheld”
    is preposterous. There was a tiny percentage of code in common that was not essential and was removed. SUN/Oracle had no claim… Oracle ended up paying some of Google’s legal costs.

    So, this is irrelevant and FUD. I personally disagree with Google’s handling of Android/Linux and I expect they will come around to seeing that the disadvantages of GPL are illusory. Google could easily make Android and the SDK FLOSS if they wanted to but they hate the GPL for unknown reasons. That does not make them immoral, just devious. As long as they pay the full cost of developing Android, who can blame them? If they did try to make Android/Linux non-Free, the world could fork or use GNU/Linux and carry on. There is no threat to software Freedom from Google.

    PS I found a recent article by SJVN on this topic.
    http://www.zdnet.com/no-google-is-not-making-the-android-sdk-proprietary-whats-the-fuss-about-7000009406/

    Apparently the source code of the SDK is ASL and available.

  7. ram wrote, “there are NO motherboards that run Linux for AMD’s latest chips.”

    Who needs to run the latest chips? One can buy systems for ~half price if one buys last year’s stuff and any processor made in the last decade likely meets most users’ needs. My Beast is getting a bit old but I rarely max it out except to build kernels.

  8. ram says:

    I don’t see Linux increasing on AMD since there are NO motherboards that run Linux for AMD’s latest chips. If AMD changes direction and becomes more Linux friendly (as in offering motherboards that run Linux directly) I’ll be thrilled and even buy some.

    Intel’s latest NUC boxen, and Shuttle’s latest offerings also don’t run Microsoft 8 but are designed for Linux. They are physically small and very attractively priced. I can see those boosting GNU/Linux on AMD64 architectures in a big way. They certainly attracted massive interest at two recent Asian IT trade shows that I’v been to.

    So, yeah, price/performance is what people are now paying attention to in these times of austerity.

  9. The fact that folks wanting some computing power, communications and search infrastructure now have a choice between smartphones, tablets and x86 boxes means Wintel has a lower market share. I see no value in Wintel going to zero share, just it’s normal share based on price/performance rather than anti-competitive behaviours. 2012 saw that happening for several quarters. I see more happening in 2013, including much more GNU/Linux on x86/amd64 in OEM/retailer channels.

  10. Mats Hagglund says:

    Linux has now servers and smartphone. During 2013 we will see how Linux will take tablets too. The next stage will be the Windows-laptop division. Google/Samsung ChromeBooks and other Linux ARM-devices will slaughter that division of Microsoft.

    I would say that Microsoft is like German Army in late 1943: still fighting but with no hope, surrounded by enemy forces from east, west, south, air and sea. There is no hope for Microsoft. They are the losers.

  11. THR says:

    Same, reason that car dealers do not mention the engine manufacturer in their literature, it is superfluous in doing so.

    Thanks for proving my point. Yes, it is superfluous. And that’s why there is no such thing as a reverse halo effect where users consciously seek out Linux thingies because their gadget happens to run on Linux. Yet you keep claiming that, for example, the success of Chromebooks means a changed perception of Linux as a whole. Ahem, no, it doesn’t work this way. People buy Chromebooks because they probably have made good experiences with Google. They could care less if their Chromebook runs on FreeDOS or on Linux or on QNX. If it works it’s good enough.

    Chromebooks use a highly modified version of Gentoo Linux and are VERY popular. You can install other Linux distributions and be free of malware and viruses, as that’s only a Windows issue.

    Dude! Where’s the audience for that? The general audience doesn’t give a crap if the Chromebook is running Gentoo. It’s enough if it works.

    You all seem to be missing the big picture here. Of course Google doesn’t need to advertise that their Chromebook is running Linux. But then it needs to be asked: why are they and everyone else so afraid to do so? Credit where credit is due! But unfortunately in a world of brands a Linux-powered notebook — even if it is by Google — is perceived differently and, ultimately, more negatively than a Google notebook.

    That’s not good. And it’s one of the big failures that Linux as a brand hasn’t been pushed much more aggressively. What one doesn’t know isn’t real. A user buying a Linux-powered device who doesn’t know that it runs Linux is a lot less useful for the greater cause.

    And that’s the problem with all these devices: they use Linux, but they don’t tell. They should be made to, even if that means a tiny limitation of freedom.

  12. dougman says:

    THR, why should Amazon mention Linux?

    Same, reason that car dealers do not mention the engine manufacturer in their literature, it is superfluous in doing so.

    Chromebooks use a highly modified version of Gentoo Linux and are VERY popular. You can install other Linux distributions and be free of malware and viruses, as that’s only a Windows issue.

    The next big thing will be integration with Android apps and a touchscreen perhaps.

    The latest model has an 11.6-inch LED display (1366×768), comes with 2GB of DDR3 RAM and is powered by Samsung’s own Exynos 5250 processor. Besides Google’s Chrome OS, which allows it to boot up in less than 10 seconds and resume operation instantly, the devices are also capable of running Ubuntu and other Linux distributions.

    Google has also taken steps to make Chromebooks appealing to the enterprise market, with simple management, cloud integration and advanced security features. In September 2012, the company launched a Chromebook rental programme in the US. For just $30 (£18.86) a month on a rolling contract, businesses can quickly supply workers with laptops and return them when they are not needed.

    Four Chromebooks > Windows 8 device

  13. THR says:

    Those you have used Linux for years know very well that Linux is not OS but Ubuntu, Mint, Android, SUSE, Debian, Fedora, Mageia etc… are OS based on Linux.

    – Linux is a well-known trademark. As such it is of greater benefit when the generic term Linux is used. You can already see bad side effects, as, for example, Valve only officially supporting Ubuntu w/r/t their Steam client.

    – Linux is the accepted generic term for any kind of operating system based on the Linux kernel and a certain set of userland tools.

    – Android is the odd man out in your series above. It certainly is based on the Linux kernel but it lacks by default the userland tools which are a core part of every Linux distribution. Android doesn’t even use the same sort of init as real Linux distributions. You cannot name it together with real Linux distributions.

  14. Mats Hagglund says:

    Those you have used Linux for years know very well that Linux is not OS but Ubuntu, Mint, Android, SUSE, Debian, Fedora, Mageia etc… are OS based on Linux.

    How many times do we have to mention this one?

  15. THR says:

    Uh, in case you haven’t noticed, most shoppers are astute enough not to buy “8″.

    We are not in any so-called “post-PC” era because Steve Jobs said so and people are buying smartphones. It may well be that even some OEMs are disgusted by Windows 8, but in due time the consumer market will look the same as it’s always looked: new PCs will be sold with Windows 8 (or 9 if Microsoft acts quickly). At least in Western countries.

    True, I don’t know anyone around me who hasn’t got a smartphone (except for VERY security- and privacy-conscious people who often don’t have a mobile phone at all). But of those I don’t know anyone who hasn’t got a PC (notebook and/or desktop) still. And those people don’t belong to any special peer group, like, for example, gamers. At least half of them even bought new PCs not too long ago.

    Smartphones are an excellent chance for manufacturers to get the most out of their “customers”, yes, that part is true. If you buy a PC today you can be pretty much sure that you’ll be able to install a new version of any Linux distribution 2, 3, 4, even 5 years from now. In a timeframe of 5 years you can also be pretty sure that you’ll go through 3 smartphones due to a myriad of reasons, like the manufacturer not providing updates, the hardware being outdated very fast. And while smartphones are getting ever cheaper, I think that you would at least have to buy a middle-class model for some 200 or 300 USD to leverage most apps.

    Smartphones are nice, sure, but suppose that, for example, the much-hyped Ubuntu phone would be on sale today, and I could use it as a PC … guess what, I still would buy a PC if I wanted a PC!

  16. THR wrote, “Yes, but most shoppers are not astute, contrary to popular belief. That’s why most people won’t replace the crappy Windows 8 their new PCs come with. “

    Uh, in case you haven’t noticed, most shoppers are astute enough not to buy “8”. My local Wal-mart has as many “7” machines on display as “8” and even those aren’t selling. That is resistance by informed shoppers. During recent holiday-parties I have noticed that at any mention of a product young people reflexively reach for their smartphones and search out reviews, specs, prices, locations… They are shopping wisely. My wifi is encrypted and I was asked to provide keys for several guests wanting to browse the web on my LAN. BYOD applies to shoppers too.

  17. THR says:

    So, Amazon does not need to mention Linux. Any astute shopper can get that information or the source code if they wished.

    Yes, but most shoppers are not astute, contrary to popular belief. That’s why most people won’t replace the crappy Windows 8 their new PCs come with. That’s why most people won’t exchange Ubuntu’s crappy default Unity interface for something infinitely better. People don’t want to bother.

  18. THR wrote some irrelevant stuff, “Linux is not mentioned anywhere in Amazon’s description.”

    I read this, “Operating System Google Chrome OS”

    A quick search of WIkipedia finds: “Google Chrome OS is a Linux-based operating system designed by Google to work exclusively with web applications.”

    So, Amazon does not need to mention Linux. Any astute shopper can get that information or the source code if they wished. The comments by purchasers do mention Linux. Again, another boring strawman…

  19. THR says:

    You know their secret? Linux is not mentioned anywhere in Amazon’s description. They’re not as stupid as you.

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