Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Businesses Education Google Microsoft Apple Hardware

Are Chromebooks Responsible For PC Market Growth? (theverge.com) 131

From a report on The Verge: IDC claims the PC market is "up slightly," recording its first growth in five years. It's a tiny growth of just 0.6 percent, but it's a flattening of the market that Microsoft and its PC maker partners have been looking for after years of decline. While percentage growth looks good on paper, it doesn't always tell the whole story. Over at Gartner, another market research firm that tracks PC sales, the story is a little different. Gartner claims PC shipments declined 2.4 percent in the recent quarter. There's a good reason for the disparity between IDC and Gartner's figures, and it involves Chromebooks. IDC's data includes Chromebooks and excludes Windows tablets, even machines with a detachable keyboard like the Surface Pro. Gartner counts Windows-based tablets as PCs and excludes Chromebooks or any non-Windows-based tablets. Without IDC providing the exact split of Chromebooks sold vs. Windows- and macOS-based machines, it's impossible to know exactly how well Google's low-cost laptops are selling. However, IDC also claims that Chromebooks are doing well with businesses. The US commercial PC market "came out strong mostly backed by growth of Chromebooks," says IDC. Gartner has no opinion on Chromebooks as the company refuses to track them as PCs.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Are Chromebooks Responsible For PC Market Growth?

Comments Filter:
  • tl,dr; No
  • As Mark Twain said (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Nunya666 ( 4446709 )
    Mark Twain wasn't the first to say it, but he made it popular: There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.

    All statistics are bogus because they depend on what data you do or do not include, and/or who you do or do not include in the survey that generates the statistic.
    • I can't recount how often I've heard this fallacy before. By the same token and for the very same reasons, any statement that anyone ever has made would be bogus, too.
  • by drinkypoo ( 153816 ) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Wednesday April 12, 2017 @09:30AM (#54221565) Homepage Journal

    Obviously this depends on how you count, which was my response even before reading the fine summary:

    IDC's data includes Chromebooks and excludes Windows tablets, even machines with a detachable keyboard like the Surface Pro. Gartner counts Windows-based tablets as PCs and excludes Chromebooks or any non-Windows-based tablets.

    If you are counting Wintel PCs then it makes sense to count windows tablets and not count non-windows-based whatever, definitely including Chromebooks. But whatever else is true, if you are counting PCs, then it makes absolutely no sense to not count Windows-based tablets, which are just PCs with a wacky form factor. That only makes sense if you are counting desktops, but then you also have to exclude Windows notebooks. So, WTF, IDC?

    • by rickb928 ( 945187 ) on Wednesday April 12, 2017 @09:40AM (#54221629) Homepage Journal

      My Surface Pro 3 is my PC. My only personal PC. I have an Android tablet and smartphone, but the Surface Pro 3 is my PC.

      IDC can play that game, but they are not offering the best information. Sad.

      All my Surface Pro lacks is dual-boot, which I've avoided just to avoid munging it too much, and I have a VM running Ubuntu for stuff I need to get done. Workd fine.

      For those of you who may be confused, the Surface Pro 3 is a PC.

      • For those of you who may be confused, the Surface Pro 3 is a PC.

        Agreed, I have one as well. Some months ago I got tired of the thought of Microsoft spying on me so I shrunk the Windows partition and installed linux, haven't even booted Windows since then. Still have to tweak it a bit to get it to work the way I want, but it works.

    • In my opinion, it's a personal computer if the person who owns it can develop and run an application for it. Under this definition:

      • GNU/Linux: PC.
      • Windows (x86 and x86-64): PC because it can run MinGW or Visual Studio.
      • Android with Bluetooth keyboard: PC because it can run AIDE [android-ide.com].
      • iPhone or iPad: Not a PC.
      • iPhone or iPad connected to an Xcode appliance [apple.com]: PC.
      • Stock game console: Not a PC.
      • Retro game console connected to a PC with keyboard: PC.
      • Stock Chromebook: Not a PC. All it can do is view web pages.
      • Chromebook with
    • Traditional PCs include Desktops, Notebooks, and Workstations and do not include Tablets or x86 Servers. Detachable Tablets and Slate Tablets are part of the Personal Computing Device Tracker, but are not addressed in this press release.

      if you are counting PCs, then it makes absolutely no sense to not count Windows-based tablets, which are just PCs with a wacky form factor. That only makes sense if you are counting desktops, but then you also have to exclude Windows notebooks. So, WTF, IDC?

      It makes sense if IDC is defining notebooks as "battery-powered computing devices with a permanently attached screen and alphabetic keyboard suitable for touch-typing". This would include a Windows laptop, a GNU/Linux laptop from System76 or Dell, a MacBook, a Chromebook, or a Remix OS notebook. Is your WTF the fact that IDC treats "mains-powered PCs with a display UNION notebook computers" as worthy of counting?

      • It makes sense if IDC is defining notebooks as "battery-powered computing devices with a permanently attached screen and alphabetic keyboard suitable for touch-typing".

        That's a dumb definition. A convertible notebook is still a notebook. And as long as the keyboard peripheral is available for sale, then the user has simply elected not to purchase the keyboard that they're not using.

  • by mykepredko ( 40154 ) on Wednesday April 12, 2017 @09:34AM (#54221599) Homepage

    In our business (Mimetics), we use Chromebooks a lot and the low end Chromebooks (2 GByte DDR & 16GByte SSD) are excellent for our application (Chrome Extension) as well as a classroom tool for students. I would argue that Chromebooks are better in the classroom than traditional PCs and I can see many applications where ChromeOS devices would be a better solution in a work environment than a traditional PC.

    But, I would be reluctant to call a ChromeOS device as a "PC" because:
    - They need to have a network connection to access user data
    - Local file systems (ie USB drives) are absolutely painful to access and work with (the paradigm is to use GDrive storage and anything else is work)
    - There simply isn't enough memory/drive space available for anything other Extensions which are measured in the low tens of MBytes
    - Applications are limited to Javascript (although I'm hoping Webassembly will be an option in the near future) with browser built in debug tools with a somewhat convoluted load/test process. A full featured IDE for application development is nothing more than a dream at this point

    A surface table, which can operate on its own, generally has many 10s to 100s of Gbytes of storage and can run traditional apps, even without keyboards seems ore likely to match the traditional definition of a "PC".

    • At my work every necessary app is browser-based, and Chrome is becoming the enterprise standard. Even my terminal sessions are usable in Host On Demand. Except for document generation...

      A Chromebook would actually serve. Office whatever can be web based.

    • Acer's Chromebook R has 4 gigs of ram and 32 gigs of local storage. Just store your stuff locally. You can fold the keyboard underneath so that it works as a 10-point touch tablet. You get what you pay for.
      • That 32GBytes local storage along with the difficulty in working with additional (USB or SD based) storage is the killer for me in terms of thinking of a Chromebook as a PC.

        I have no issues with the "thin client" concept and I think the ChromeOS provides the necessary infrastructure to make a ChromeOS device useful, I just don't think they can replicate the expected functionality of a PC.

    • - They need to have a network connection to access user data

      So do bigger computers that store their data on a SAN....

    • But, I would be reluctant to call a ChromeOS device as a "PC" because:
      - They need to have a network connection to access user data
      - Local file systems (ie USB drives) are absolutely painful to access and work with (the paradigm is to use GDrive storage and anything else is work)
      - There simply isn't enough memory/drive space available for anything other Extensions which are measured in the low tens of MBytes
      - Applications are limited to Javascript (although I'm hoping Webassembly will be an option in the

    • by Mal-2 ( 675116 )

      I had a Gnawty with 2 GB and a 16 GB eMMC. GalliumOS ran just fine on it. Windows was extremely painful, even for a Big Guy, but a lightweight Linux distro that Just Worked straight out of the box was quite pleasant. It was easy to forget it wasn't a normal notebook.

      An i3 C720 or C740 can even run OS X. The Broadcom network card in the C740 is not reliable in OS X, but it can be swapped for one that is. I'd say those are PCs, at least when running a full OS. Drawing a "PC/Not PC" line based on OS may make s

  • That seems to be the gist of the summary. Two different reports, one counts Chromebook as PCs show mild growth. Another that did not count Chromebook showed continued decline. The headline seems to suggest somehow Chromebooks are boosting the sales of PCs.
    • That seems to be the gist of the summary. Two different reports, one counts Chromebook as PCs show mild growth. Another that did not count Chromebook showed continued decline. The headline seems to suggest somehow Chromebooks are boosting the sales of PCs.

      <sarcasm>Considering the total including Chromebooks is lower than the one without - obviously Chromebooks lower PC sales </sarcasm>

  • Vehicle sales have similar weirdness. There are some legal/regulatory terms of what constitutes a "light truck" versus a "car" and so on. Not to mention that the term "station wagon" became a death sentence for a vehicle. So you end up with a PT Cruiser being a truck for fuel efficiency standards but as a car for others. Subaru markets their Outback as a SUV, but it's really a wagon, or as they call it, a Crossover/SUV, and it's also a "truck", but never, ever a "wagon" ... which calls up memories of giant

    • by tepples ( 727027 )

      Subaru markets their Outback as a SUV, but it's really a wagon, or as they call it, a Crossover/SUV, and it's also a "truck", but never, ever a "wagon"

      When Subaru first started selling the Outback in the mid-1990s, its commercials on U.S. TV referred to it as a "sport utility wagon".

  • Lines are getting blurred and definitions of things need to be rewritten.

    Like how couple other bodies in our solar system were discovered and we had to redefine Pluto.

    So maybe the chrome book is a "Dwarf PC", netbooks aren't really notebooks. Still my Wyse terminal has 4GB of RAM and dual boots to Windows 7 and Mint. Is it still just a terminal?

    Definitions seem to matter though, it has real life implications in accounting and record keeping. For example, I can't claim my dog as a dependent but he depends

  • Works for me! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by mspohr ( 589790 ) on Wednesday April 12, 2017 @11:12AM (#54222239)

    A year ago I was facing the decision to replace my aging MacBook Air with one of Apple's expensive but pathetic newer models and decided to get a Chromebook (Asus Flipbook) instead for much less money. Best decision ever!
    Not only is the Asus faster than my MacBook (which seems to have gotten slower with every Apple update) but I have access to my Android apps plus apps written for the Chromebook. I use Google docs for all of my wp, presentations and spreadsheets (and great collaborative workspaces).
    I've installed Crouton for the times when I need Linux for programming, etc. Just a tab switch from ChromeOS to Linux. Remarkably fast.
    Couldn't be happier.
    For my uses, it's definitely a PC and does everything I need.

  • The PC market started to fall for several reasons:
    - the market was saturated (everybody who wanted one had one)
    - PCs began to be useful for longer than 3 years
    - many people started buying tablets instead of PCs for Web surfing and email

    Now, however, all those trends have stabilized. We've reached a new normal, and are now in a normal growth curve, as with other mature markets such as cars.

    Chromebooks have very little to do with the recent growth of the PC market.

  • The whole argument about whether chromebooks are PCs is pretty stupid. Both are tools. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. For the large part of society that basically does everything computer related in a browser, a chromebook makes a lot of sense. For the smaller group that needs more functionality, chromebooks are not a good choice. I've bought 4 ChromeOS devices for family members and they all love these tools without any complaints. I can't use a chromebook for work, but use my chromeb

It's hard to think of you as the end result of millions of years of evolution.

Working...