I often forget about Google’s other OS project found on the Chromebook, as it’s too easy to become distracted by continuous app and ROM develop on the Android platform. I should probably start paying a little more attention though, as Acer is reporting strong sales of its notebooks using the Chrome platform.
In an interview at the companies headquarters, Acer President Jim Wong said that Chrome-based notebooks accounted for somewhere between 5 percent and 10 percent of Acer’s U.S shipments since being released in November. That might not seem like a very high percentage, but considering the short period of time since launch, the figures are pretty good.
We should also note that Acer has been struggling with some of its other products lines, which saw the company writing off $120 million in the value of its struggling brands. So Chromebooks appear to be one of Acer’s stronger products at the moment.
Interestingly, Jim Wong also commented on the slumping Windows market, stating that Windows 8 wasn’t proving to be a successful platform. He also noted that:
“The whole market didn’t come back to growth after the Windows 8 launch, that’s a simple way to judge if it is successful or not.”
Those are some pretty blunt words from the Acer President, and probably explains why Acer is keen to diversify its range of operating systems. Not to mention to lack of a license fee frees up some much needed cash flow as well.
Whilst Microsoft’s problems with Windows installation rates aren’t a result of Chrome OS, but a rather more general failing to adapt to shifting consumer demand for smartphones and portable tablet computers, it’s certainly benefiting the free operating system.
Lenovo recently announced its new ThinkPad Chromebook for schools program, sighting the cheaper development and purchasing costs as one of the key reasons for adding a Chromebook to its product line-up. If Google can successfully break into the youth market it could well turn the tide in favour of Chrome OS in the coming years.
There’s also news circling that HP will be the next manufacturer to partner up with Google, so we should see a new Chromebook released sometime in the future. It’ll be interesting to see if HP report similarly positive figures to Acer, once the new Chromebook hits the shelves.