HP Chromebooks Reflect Erosion in Windows Dominance

HP ChromeBook 14Hewlett-Packard isn’t being shy about its new Chromebooks built specifically for the SMB marketplace. The sub-$300 machines are seen as having strong appeal to an increasingly connected user base. Moreover, the appeal is to users who are no longer tied to the Windows-only mentality.

The new Chromebook 11 and Chromebook 14 are presented as fully functional notebooks that have all the features and attributes business users expect from a portable machine – long battery life, full-sized keyboard, built-in trackpad. And, because it runs Google Chrome operating system, it’s designed around Google Apps and Web-based applications.

HP collaborated with Google in the design of these new machines. They wanted to make the new Chromebooks particularly appealing to SMBs that are looking for full-functioning PCs at a low price without sacrificing manageability. Businesses have the option of including Google Management Console for centralized administration.

Solution providers will have access to these Chromebooks, as well. Thus far, Chromebooks produced by HP and other vendors have been sold sporadically through the channel; more opportunistically than strategically. The new HP Chromebooks, though, were launched with a channel-friendly focus, as HP and Google believe solution providers will see demand for these devices.

Interestingly, HP isn’t making a full philosophical commitment to Chromebooks. In responding to Channelnomics inquires about the rationale behind these new machines, HP position these Chromebooks as complements to other devices, such as more expensive PCs running Microsoft Windows and Apple iPad tablets.

“Chromebooks are ideal for professionals who need to spend a lot of time conducting business on the Internet and using online apps, social networks or web-based email.  They are a great companion device to a laptop or tablet, and many employees – especially in SMBs – are bringing Chromebooks into their work environments,” HP wrote.

Obviously, HP believes it and solution providers have an opportunity to capture market share in education. School systems are adopting Chromebooks over higher-end Windows and Apple products because of cost. By releasing these Chromebooks into the channel, HP hopes to build on that momentum and expand its footprint in secondary and college classrooms.

All of this is adding up to bad news for Microsoft. While Windows 8 is selling well enough to be considered a success, the Windows franchise no longer has an iron grip on the operating system market. Until recently, the threat to Windows was mobile platforms such as Google Android and Apple iOS. However, the expanding availability of Chromebooks by manufacturers such as Google, HP, Lenovo, Samsung and Acer shows that Microsoft no longer is the only game in thick clients. Pushing Chromebooks through the channel has the potential of expediting the Windows market share erosion.

  2 comments for “HP Chromebooks Reflect Erosion in Windows Dominance

  1. October 23, 2013 at 10:36 am

    Anyone who has been using chrome and android products lately will realize that Microsoft is toast. More and more people are eschewing windows in favour of google-powered products, be they android powered smartphones and tablets or chrome-os powered chromebooks and chromeboxes. Windows is last century, it cannot keep up with the demands of the 21st. I have not used a windows-powered device for many months now and it is very liberating. No more costly and time-consuming OS updates, no more paying fortunes for ms office, antivirus, antimalware, defragging and registry doctors. All these are handled seamlessly in the cloud and take no time and attention from the user at all. Do people even realize that if your windows pc becomes corrupted, you have to pay hundreds of dollars to MS to get an actual installation version of windows even though you already paid a licence fee to have it on your pc in the first place? Microsoft’s business practices are completely unacceptable in this day and age. Once enterprise buyers catch up to these trends, they are gone.

  2. October 28, 2013 at 1:09 pm

    Many people laughed when Google first released the Chromebook. But now it’s really mounting a challenge to Windows, at least in some niches.

    Chromebooks are not meant to be for every type of user. They are meant for users that spend most of their time in a browser and want a device that starts up fast and is easy to use. That’s still a nice sized market.

    Chromebook users that want to work with Windows applications can use solutions such as Ericom AccessNow. AccessNow is an HTML5 RDP client that enables Chromebook users to connect to Terminal Server or VDI virtual desktops, and run any Windows application (including MS Office) or even full desktops in a browser tab.

    For an online, interactive demo, open your Chrome browser and visit:

    Please note that I work for Ericom

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