Yesterday, the Wall Street Journal reported that Google is merging its Chrome OS operating system – which is based on the Chrome browser and used on personal computers (mostly laptops) – with Android, its market-leading operating system for smartphones and tablets.
The move has been expected for some time, but Chrome OS fans quickly took to social media to defend the Chromebook laptops, which are cheap, quick to start up, and perfectly fine if all you need is browser apps. A Google exec insisted that Chrome will live on in some form.
But if Google does kill Chrome OS, this chart from Statista suggests it wouldn’t be widely mourned. Chromebooks have never been a significant part of the computing market. Last year, according to Gartner, about 546 million PCs and tablets shipped. Most of the PCs run Microsoft’s Windows, a few run Apple’s Mac OS X, and most of the tablets run Google’s Android or Apple’s iOS.
Chromebooks made up about 1% of the market. That percentage was barely predicted to change in the next two years.
Meanwhile, Android ships on 85% of all smartphones, including 1 billion devices just last year. Not all of those versions of Android are the same, and some don’t contain any links to Google services, but it’s clear which platform the market prefers.