Why Chromebook is a threat to Microsoft

Free translation of the article on ComputerWorld with a few additions.

Photo: Michael Homnick

Remember the existence of Chromebooks? These are small and inexpensive laptops that should have taken a large share of the operating system market (“eating” the Windows share, in particular), showing the world that the user does not need a “heavy” OS for serious tasks – just one lightweight system with Internet access is enough . You can buy similar devices for a price that is lower than the cost of any program and with such hardware that would prove to everyone that there is no longer any need for Microsoft Office and other large client programs – there is free Google Docs with the same features.

But it all went wrong. Windows laptops thrive, and chromabooks are rarely used in the corporate segment. Microsoft Office still prevails among all office suites. Do I need to worry Microsoft?

Is complete. There are signs that Chromebooks are more likely to be a long-term threat to Microsoft — more than you can imagine. The transition from Windows laptops to Chromebooks will not come overnight or even in the next few years. But in the future they are likely to be serious competitors.

Why? Chrome books sell well in the educational field. Two years ago, they first surpassed Mac computers for purchasing and using in schools. Schools are a great market for Google, and Chromebooks are some kind of Trojan horse. Together with the devices, children and teens get a free subscription to the G Suite apps and use them for homework. If students continue to use the Chromebooks and the G Suite as they continue their studies, then there is a high probability that they will continue to do so even in older adults.

The distribution of Chromebooks for 2012-2017 // Source: Google Blog

In Cambridge, Massachusetts, Cambridge Rindge and Latin High School gives out a free Chromebook to each of more than 2,000 students in order to bridge the “digital” gap between families who can afford to buy a computer for their child and those who cannot. Gina Roughton, Assistant Director of Educational Technology for Cambridge Public Schools, says chromebooks were chosen instead of PC or Mac for several reasons.

“These are amazing devices in terms of technology. They run in seven seconds, so there is no loss of study time. Obviously, the Chromebooks use Google services and we, as a school district participating in the Google for Education program for seven years, prefer to use online tools for collaboration and productivity. ”

Gina routon
Assistant Director of Educational Technology for Cambridge Public Schools

The Cambridge example is not unique. According to The New York Times article, “more than half of primary and secondary school students — more than 30 million children — use Google applications like Gmail and Docs. And Chromebooks, laptops from Google, which were initially trying to find a use, are now the real leader in American schools. ”

But wait. Macs have been popular in schools for many years and this did not help Apple to make significant progress in the mainstream Microsoft field. And this is true, but this time is different for three reasons. The first is the price. Macs are more expensive than PCs, and vice versa are much cheaper. For this reason, it is most likely that people will buy Chromebooks for themselves, and businesses will follow suit.

Secondly, the corporate segment is now more likely to follow the technologies that users use (BYOD times). Note: BYOD (“Bring Your Own Device”) is a concept in which an employee of an enterprise uses his personal device, including for work tasks.

Well, and thirdly, this is G Suite. Apple has never had its own office suite that could compete with Microsoft Office. Once students get used to using the Google office suite, they are more likely to use it even after they graduate.

Google gets $ 30 from the device, selling its management services to millions of Chromebooks that are sent to schools. But by teaching students to their services at a young age, Google gets something much more valuable.

From the article The New York Times

When students finish their studies, their mail and documents can be easily and quickly transferred (thanks to Google) from study accounts to personal ones. Also, sometimes schools accidentally act as merchants for Google. The same article The New York Times reports that some schools strongly advise graduates to transfer all of their documents from the school to a personal account: “ Chatfield Senior High School in Littleton, Colorado sent the graduates a notice that they were convinced that they had transferred data from the school account in your personal Gmail account. ”

The Reuters article adds that “young employees who used Gmail and Google Docs are growing as real entrepreneurs.” Mark Sami, vice-president of SPR consulting company, which provides Microsoft software for business, says the publication that “there are people who have completed all college studies with G Suite”.

What is the general conclusion? Machines on Windows continue to manage the corporate segment. But once Chromebooks can become a serious competitor for them, because former students begin to be employees.

Free translation of the article on ComputerWorld with a few additions.

Back to top button