“Duck” as most humans understand it is an attempt to dodge some catastrophe usually by a sudden downward movement of the head/body to avoid danger. Ducks, on the other hand, use the motion to go after submerged food.“Seeing that Chromebooks are enjoying demand from the education sector, brand vendors such as Dell, Asustek Computer and Lenovo have started becoming aggressive about the market, while Acer, Hewlett-Packard (HP) and Samsung Electronics will also launch new products to defend their market shares, according to sources from the upstream supply chain.” That’s what all the major OEMs are doing about ChromeBooks this year. Google and the OEMs introduced Chromebooks gradually into a few regions in the past two years and growth is picking up speed.
Chromebooks are a combination thin client and GNU/Linux desktop/notebook computer. They mostly rely on web applications for users. The operating system just keeps the lights on and manages local resources, but it’s still GNU/Linux underneath that browser. As such, ChromeBooks represent the most public push GNU/Linux on the desktop has ever made. Ubuntu GNU/Linux is about the same magnitude but without this fantastic growth. The combination of Google, big-name OEMs, and the attributes of thin clients without a local terminal server are all coming together to make ChromeBooks a great choice for schools who want to use IT but don’t want to be in the business of IT.
With this level of effort (“Asustek, which originally took a conservative attitude about the segment, is planning to flood the market with many different models starting the fourth quarter of 2014, while Lenovo is investing equally in both the Chromebook and Windows-based notebook segments.”) by OEMs there is sure to be more advertising and a growing realization by net-bound consumers that ChromeBooks make sense. Expect ChromeBooks to take another step up in popularity this Christmas and beyond. There’s no telling how far this will eat into the Wintel monopoly but I expect that ARMed ChromeBooks will grow as well as Intel and a good fraction of the consumers who mostly live on the web will love them. I expect ChromeBooks eventually to have more than 20% share of desktops and perhaps as high as 40% within a few years.