Play Store Steps onto Chromebook, and Here’s Why Microsoft Should Worry

May 21, 2016, By Sanjeev Ramachandran

It’s official; Google Play Store and its apps are now heading for Chrome OS. It’s not a big surprise; predictions were already laid after Play Store support was spotted in the Chromebook settings last month. All it required was an official nod from Google, and that’ what has arrived during the Google I/O conference now.

This is certainly not the merging of Chrome OS and Android OS like many have predicted. The two operating systems will still run independently, and will cover different circle of devices. However, what everyone looks forward is for the surge in interest Chromebooks can generate with the inbound apps.

And, if there’s someone who must be bothered about this, it certainly has to be Microsoft. If going by the usage share stats, Chrome OS still has got miles to cover before it catches up even with the least used Windows OS versions. The former accounts to less than 1% in the entire industry, while Windows 7 alone comprises nearly half the computers in this world.

Windows 10, their latest OS, is also mounting its share. The OS is now the world’s second most used PC OS after Windows 7. We can expect Windows 7 and Windows 8/8.1 users to make the switch to the latest OS at one point of time. So that will keep on rising.

But let’s shift our eyes to the IDC stats. For the first time in history, Chromebook has managed to topple Mac in sales during the first quarter this year. The highlighted comparison was between Apple and Google, but the former would only have little to worry about; Macbook growth rate is still picking up the positive acceleration.

Chromebook

What should be really pinpointed is the popularity of Chrome OS among portable desktop users. Comparatively, it’s the lighter OS that can be considered as an expanded browser. But the current surge in popularity points to how that could be effective.

The only downside was the lack of app support in Chromebook, which is what Google is wiping out with the new roll out. With that made available, Chromebooks will only become more favored in markets where it’s still remaining under the shadows of its rivals. It won’t be arriving in each and every Chromebook available now, but they haven’t excluded any favorite ones from the list either.

Another area where Microsoft seems to be clearly struggling is with its inability to convincingly blend the smartphone-desktop ecosystems. Microsoft has come forward a lot in improving cross-platform supports, but that’s effective only if weighing up their own previous OS.

Upsets are still high among dedicated desktop users regarding Microsoft’s so-called extra urge in bonding the smartphone-PC through radical shifts.

Like said before Google will still have to go way forward before they could start boasting about their healthy competition with Microsoft. And its portable PCs that could play the key part in this. There’s no doubt in the fact that Windows will still continue to reign among desktops. But we are witnessing a flurry of portable PCs and convertibles, and it’s through this channel that Google could pose a threat to the lion’s share of Microsoft.

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