Chrome OS overtakes Macs for second place OS market share for the first time

Cal Jeffrey

Posts: 2,966   +785
Staff member
TL;DR: The pandemic has apparently been good to Google's Chrome OS. Last year it increased its user base by 4.4 percent, surpassing Apple's macOS and taking second place in OS market share. Windows lost nearly five percent of the market, but unsurprisingly still commands the PC landscape.

According to numbers from market research firm IDC, Chrome OS overtook macOS for the first time in 2020 in user install base. For decades, Windows has had a stranglehold on the PC market, and that has not changed. The contest has historically been between macOS, Linux, and, more recently, Chrome OS.

Macs have held second place in global market share for quite a while. However, GeekWire reports that in 2020, Chrome OS slipped ahead, holding 10.8 percent of the market. Chromebooks have beat out Macs on a quarterly basis in the past, but this is the first time year-end numbers saw the Google-owned OS growth exceed Apple's. The increase is made more significant considering Mac market share rose from 6.7 percent in 2019 to 7.5 percent in 2020.

Although it is still nowhere close to Windows' install base, Chrome's growth from 6.4 percent to 10.8 took a small bite out of Microsoft's hold as its slice of the pie slid from 85.4 percent in 2019 to 80.5 percent last year. However, it is worth noting that 2020 was far from typical as far as PC sales go. General PC sales were up thanks to the many who were forced to work from home. But educational tools in the form of Chromebooks may have superseded home and business use in 2020.

Many schools took advantage of deep discounts offered to educators for Chromebooks. Most districts increased their inventories of inexpensive Chromebooks to help loan equipment to children who might not have their own computers, so last year's numbers might be somewhat skewed. How long this trend will continue remains to be seen, but as of this writing, there are still many students enrolled in distance learning models. It may be some time before the demand shifts to more normal levels.

Image credit: Chromebook by CC Photo Labs, Market Share by GeekWire

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Jeff Schmidt

Posts: 113   +91
Chrome os has come really far over the last 5 years. Crazy since this is a google product and hasn't had the billion bugs and problems that android has.
 

DZillaXx

Posts: 264   +383
Chrome os has come really far over the last 5 years. Crazy since this is a google product and hasn't had the billion bugs and problems that android has.

I've never had much of a problem with Android on any type of quality device. In fact my friends with iPhones tend to have to reboot their iphones more than I do my Android Device. But at the same time I've used crappy Android devices before, and it can be quite bad.

Chrome OS is still fairly basic and is lacking in areas. Too many chromebooks are super cheaply built models. Schools are the biggest contributor to the chromebook crazy for the easy management and low cost. But the Chromebooks that these schools are buying are poorly made units that just doesnt hold up well. The Unit our daughter was given is a joke.

Mac's sell well for a laptop, and have their own little market. But they were never a threat to MS or Googles business model.
 

lazer

Posts: 385   +117
L have never used Chrome OS, but I love Android. It loads so fast, with many great apps. I hate windows because it is one big mess. I am not a fan of Apple either since you must use their products only.

But I am considering getting a Chrome book on my next purchase.
 

tokyojerry

Posts: 12   +3
A big advantage of Chrome OS is that you can have your Android and eat it to, so to speak. Chrome OS will run Android apps. It's like having 2-in-1.

ChromeOS will be continuously updated like Windows and MacOS. But, if one has an Android OS-based tablet for example, most likely will not be updated over time.
 

DrSuess

Posts: 98   +68
Chrome os has come really far over the last 5 years. Crazy since this is a google product and hasn't had the billion bugs and problems that android has.
In the many years I have used Android I haven't any any major issues with that OS on the products that I have bought. Most of the people that I know that use Chrome OS just browse the internet, do email and craft some lite documents. So I would hope they wouldn't have issues doing those types of activities.
 

tokyojerry

Posts: 12   +3
In the many years I have used Android I haven't any any major issues with that OS on the products that I have bought. Most of the people that I know that use Chrome OS just browse the internet, do email and craft some lite documents. So I would hope they wouldn't have issues doing those types of activities.

There are many other things people can do on a Chromebook (tablet) then just browse the web, and craft documents. The fact that ChromeOS also supports Android implies that ChromeOS also introduces numerous other tasks normally done on an Android device to a Chrome device. photo editing, video NLE production, GPS tracking, illustration, not to mention games, just for starters.

For one example:

There is another from Lenovo two and a new one just announced. Touche! iPad.