Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes: Gregg Keizer reports at Computerworld that Chromebooks accounted for 21% of all US commercial notebook sales in 2013 through November, and 10% of all computers and tablets. Both shares were up massively from 2012 when Chromebooks accounted for an almost-invisible two-tenths of one percent of all computer and tablet sales. That’s really rough news news for Microsoft, which is the principal loser of market share against the Chromebooks. Part of the attraction of Chromebooks is their low prices: The systems forgo high-resolution displays, rely on inexpensive graphics chipsets, include paltry amounts of RAM — often just 2GB — and get by with little local storage. And their operating system, Chrome OS, doesn't cost computer makers a dime. "A few years ago, Chromebooks were a bit of a laughing stock. They were underperforming single-purpose laptops that weren’t even good at the only thing they could do that is, surf the web," says Frederic Lardinois. "Over the last year, ChromeOS also went from a one-trick pony to something that’s more like a “real” operating system." Today’s Chromebooks are nothing like the old Cr-48 prototype Google once sent out to bloggers in late 2010. The fact that Microsoft has now started making fun of them just shows that it’s concerned about losing market share in the business world. "Google is doing with its Chrome OS for PCs what it did with Android for smartphones," says Matt Marshall. "No wonder Google is starting to eating Microsoft’s lunch."
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