Nearly All Of Microsoft's PC Partners Now Offer Google Chromebooks

Steve BallmerBusiness Insider/Julie BortMicrosoft CEO Steve Ballmer

As expected, the Consumer Electronics Show brought us new Chromebooks.

With the one introduced by Toshiba, all but one of Microsoft’s PC hardware partners are now selling laptops built with Google’s Chrome operating system, points out The Motley Fool’s Sam Mattera. The hold out is Asus, and it, too, is rumoured to be working on a Chromebook to be launched this year.

To recap, that’s Dell, HP, Acer, Samsung, Lenovo, Acer, and Toshiba selling Chromebooks with some vendors, like HP, offering multiple models.

Google also offers a Chromebook, the touchscreen Pixel, but with its $US1,300 price tag, it’s more like a Cadillac Chromebook designed to show what’s possible. Even the Google vice president responsible for building the Pixel, Caesar Sengupta, admitted to Business Insider that he never thought it would be a big seller.

Most Chromebooks are priced well under $US500 and that’s has consumers’ heads turning and sales soaring, according to research firm NPD and holiday sales reports by Amazon.

Beyond consumers, Chromebooks are also doing well in education, with nearly one-quarter of the school districts in the U.S. using them or testing them, Sengupta told Business Insider. Plus, about one-quarter of enterprise IT pros are considering buying Chromebooks for their business’ employees, according to research last summer from Forrester.

Obviously, this has Microsoft nervous and responding with a negative ad campaign trashing Chromebooks.

That won’t stop PC makers. As HP CEO Meg Whitman said in October, thanks to Microsoft’s Surface (which, unlike the Pixel, Microsoft is heavily marketing), Microsoft has turned from a partner into an “outright” competitor.

Meanwhile, Google is wooing manufacturers with by giving them the Chrome operating system for free while Microsoft charges a licensing fees.

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