Chromebook made big gains in marketshare in 2013 . . . the days of Microsoft Windows laptops seem to be numbered

Year to date through November 2013, 14.4 million desktops, notebooks, and tablets were sold through U.S. commercial channels, leading to a 25.4 percent increase over 2012, according to The NPD Group’s Distributor Track and Commercial Reseller Tracking Service. This stellar performance follows the 3.1 percent sales increase experienced in 2012.

Chromebooks, and Android tablets collectively had the biggest impact on sales growth, with 1.76 million units going through the channel from January through November of this year, compared to just 400,000 units in 2012.

Chromebooks accounted for 21 percent of all notebook* sales, up from negligible share in the prior year, and 8 percent of all computer and tablet sales through November, up from one tenth of a percent in 2012 – the largest share increase across the various product segments.

Chromebooks took a commanding second place position behind stalwart Windows laptops, while previous No. 2 MacBooks dropped 0.8 percent to end November with 1.8 percent of the market.

Amazon.com is showing that Chromebooks make up three of its top four best-seller laptops.

ComputerWorld first noted Amazon.com’s Thursday announcement that a pair of Chromebooks — Samsung‘s Chromebook and the Acer C720 Chromebook — came in as two of the three best-selling notebooks during the U.S. holiday season. The third was Asus‘ Transformer Book, a Windows 8.1 device that can alternate between a 10.1-inch tablet to a keyboard-equipped laptop.

Fourth, ninth and eleventh in Amazon laptop sales are Chromebooks.

Google is doing with its Chrome OS for PCs what it did with Android for smartphones: License its operating system to manufacturers essentially for free, in the interest of spreading web-based devices that help Google to serve more web-based advertising.

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