) is doing everything it can to ensure that the Chromebook
becomes a long-term success.
In addition to the cheap plastic machines that retail for
$200, Google has built a $1,300 notebook for high-end users who
work in the cloud.
These efforts are part of the company's long-term strategy to
compete more effectively against Apple (NASDAQ:
) and Microsoft (NASDAQ:
By getting consumers to switch to a Chromebook -- which comes
with the cloud-based Chrome OS -- Google can automatically
eliminate the challenge of competing software. This was a
strategy that Apple tried to employ until it realized that it was
better off embracing Microsoft Office and other mainstream
While Office is not being developed for Chrome OS, Chromebook
can still subscribe
to Office 365.
Many of Google's most popular services -- such as Google Docs
-- are currently free. Unlike the paid software of yesteryear,
Google makes money by selling ad space. Thus, the company wants
to acquire as many users as possible, even if it means selling
Unfortunately, that strategy seems to be off to a very slow
start. While Chromebooks have been available for more than a
year, Google (and its partners) have only managed to sell a small
number of units.
, total sales are less than 500,000 units.
Taiwan-based notebook ODMs and vendors told the publication
that "compatibility and consumer usage habits" are the major
obstacles that the OS must break through in order to increase
They estimate that, even if Google
integrates Chrome OS with Android
, it would still struggle to compete against Windows for at least
one to two years.
That could be an understatement. During its first month at
retail, Windows 8 sold
40 million licenses
-- more than 80 times the number of Chromebooks that have been
sold. Not all of those licenses were for new machines.
suggested that consumers are more interested in Windows 8 than
they are in buying new hardware.
This is not the best news for Google, which is trying to use
the Chrome OS to inspire Chromebook sales, just as Apple used the
famous Mac OS to inspire MacBook sales.
Louis Bedigian is the Senior Tech Analyst and Features Writer
of Benzinga. You can reach him at 248-636-1322 or
firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him
(c) 2013 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment
advice. All rights reserved.
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