Three facts: PC sales continue to decline. Macbooks continue to grow as a share of PC shipments. And in the first quarter of 2016, Chromebooks outsold Macbooks. Yes, you read that right. According to IDC analyst Linn Huang, Chromebooks beat Macs in overall shipments in the U.S.
With that news, Linus Torvalds is ready to declare desktop victory. On Thursday last week, Torvalds posted on his Google+ page: “Hey, either Macs don’t count much on the desktop, or we may have to finally lay the ‘year of the Linux desktop’ joke to rest.”
One Google+ reader commented that Chrome OS, the Linux-based operating system that runs on Chromebooks is “a web browser, not a desktop. Good thing, but not the same at all.”
Whoever wins the hearts and minds of today’s younger computer users will have a substantial advantage over the competition for years to come. In years past, I’ve seen both Apple and, later, Microsoft try this approach. Both failed, as kids back in the early days of computing used their PCs for school and limited PC gaming. Today things are different. Kids are glued to their smartphones and many of those smart phones are Android-based.
This means kids are fairly comfortable using Android applications. Now imagine putting Android applications on Chromebooks for schools. Yes, this is in fact happening right now. I for one, think this is going to prove to be one of the smartest moves Google has made in many years.
In this article, I’ll explain why this may be the final nail in the coffin with regard to Microsoft Windows for casual computer users.