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May 8, 2014

Why Chrome OS will not be the next big platform

“It will, however, be an alternative that caters for an online world,” says expert.

By Ben Sullivan

Despite Google and Intel’s recent hardware marriage, an expert on the matter has told CBR that Chrome OS will not be the next big platform.

This week, Google and Intel announced a partnership that will boost the profile of Google’s Chrome OS Chromebooks and Chromestations, laptops and desktops that use the Chrome operating system, as opposed to Mac OS or Windows.

Chrome OS devices are gaining popularity in educational institutions and offices because of their relatively low price and maintenance costs.

But Gartner analyst Ranjit Atwal said that Chrome OS will not be a competitor to Microsoft’s Windows platform.

"Chrome overall is still expected to have less share than Mac OS across all PC types," said Atwal.

But he went on to say that Chrome OS "will however be an alternative that caters for an online world. However, it needs to differentiate itself from Windows – not become the same".

The Chrome browser itself launched in late 2008, and as of April 2014 has a 45.22% browser market share of desktops, laptops and tablets, while Microsoft’s Internet Explorer has a smaller 21.43% share. However, when it comes to Chrome OS devices, Google has yet to gain a significant foothold in the market. With the Intel partnership, Google is hoping to turn that around.

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Atwal said: "Chrome is expected to see 6M shipments by end of 2014. So still a low share but with more vendors pushing it and some more offline capabilities at the lower price 2015 onwards could be more interesting."

This week, Google and LG unveiled more details about the LG Chromebase, an all-in-once workstation that will launch in the US at the end of May. Specifications include a 21.6-inch 1080p LCD screen, 2GB of RAM, and 16GB of storage.

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