The OS War is Going to Heat Up, and it isn’t just Apple versus Microsoft

With the release of Windows 8, there has been a lot of chatter on Apple’s iOS and OS X. I’ve heard more than one comment about Windows 8 allowing for the rise of Apple to a bigger place in the operating system wars. Similarly, in the mobile market, there is a lot of noise implying the domination of the iPad and iPhone (iOS) over everybody else. The questions to ask, however, are whether iOS is dominating, and whether this is Apple’s chance. Obviously, Windows Phone is not carving out huge chunks of the mobile market, and Windows 8 hasn’t gotten all glowing reviews.

But First… Let’s Talk Chrome

Google has released their Chrome operating system, so I thought it would be worth taking a look at a Chromebook, which is a small notebook computer running the Chrome operating system.

Samsung has a model that looks really good and at just $249, the price is cheap enough to catch your attention. Acer just released their $199 Chromebook as well. For fun, I suggested that the user group I run give away a Google Chromebook at our December meeting. This is our last meeting before we shut down the group, so the Chromebook would be the final prize. This is actually a fun gesture because this is a .NET group!

The last meeting is on December 13th if you want to join. Bring an unwrapped toy for our toy drive if you want to be entered into a chance to win.

There have been a number of ads for the Chromebooks, including the one running on television. As such, it isn’t surprising that a few have sold. What is surprising is that the Samsung devices are sold out in a lot of places. I thought it would be easy to jaunt down to BestBuy and pick up one; however, I found that the BestBuys in my area are sold out. BestBuy online is also sold out as is Staples online. Even Amazon seemed to be lacking Samsung Chromebooks.


Of course, I visited a few other tech and office stores to see if they were carrying the devices. As I mentioned, Staples online lists them but is sold out. The guys at my local Staples store told me they didn’t have them in the store yet. The guys at Office Depot said they had a Galaxy Tab, but he didn’t know what a “Chrome-thing” was. At HHGregg, they also hadn’t heard of this Chrome thing either. With the dozens of televisions running at an HHGregg store, you’d think they would have seen one of the Chromebook ads by now!

But Everyone Talks About Apple

Let me shift back to the talk about how Apple is taking over the industry. In a lot of the comments bashing Windows 8, you can see comments about how Apple is going to be able to pick up the pieces and dominate as a result of the perceived missteps by Microsoft’s. It is becoming very clear to me that anyone talking about Apple winning the operating system war as a result of Windows 8 isn’t paying attention.

It seems to me that the “do no evil” giant has been quietly gaining momentum, especially in the mobile space (with the Android OS). The statistics from Gartner show that Google is dominating in the mobile market. In the last quarter, when it comes to operating systems on mobile devices, it wasn’t Apple that dominated. It was Google who had 72.4% of the sales (up from 52.5% the prior quarter). Apple was a much smaller players with iOS having 13.9% (down from 15%). Microsoft was hardly notable with 2.4%, which was actually up from 1.5% for units sold in the quarter.

It is obvious that Microsoft dominates on the desktop. Google is starting to dominate in the mobile space. Both seem to be working to extend in their weak areas — Microsoft into mobile and Google onto the desktop. While the attention is on Apple taking over, and while Windows 8 seems to be getting mixed reviews, it looks like it could be a prime time for Google to extend its reach very effectively beyond the mobile space. While a lot of stores don’t yet know what a Chromebook is, it does seem that those that do are selling them quickly.

The battle might seem to be between Microsoft and Apple, but I wouldn’t turn your back on Google!

Did someone say Linux? Whatever…

Today’s rambling is my own and does not necessarily reflect that of my employer or any of the clients we do business with!

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