Google Chrome OS-powered laptops and mobile devices surged in 2013, according to research group NPD, signaling a continued change in the consumer and business markets.

chrome icon 600 x 600 Chromebooks had big year in 2013, according to NPD

Chromebook sales racked up 1.76 million units worldwide from January 2013 to November 2013, capturing 21 percent of notebook sales throughout the year.  Chromebooks also captured two of three spots on the Amazon “holiday best sellers” list, while the products are also proving to be popular in the classroom.

“The market for personal computing devices in commercial markets continues to shift and change.  New products like Chromebooks, and reimagined items like Windows tablets, are now supplementing the revitalization that iPads started in personal computing devices. It is no accident that we are seeing the fruits of this change in the commercial markets as business and institutional buyers exploit the flexibility inherent in the new range of choices now open to them.”

P1 Chromebooks had big year in 2013, according to NPD

Google has taken the mobile market by storm with its Android OS on smartphones and tablets – and growing interest in the Chrome OS operating system.  Chrome OS is typically found on cheaper laptops that focus more on cloud-based tasks including e-mail, storage, and Web browsing, and is more flexible than Windows 8.

This is more continued bad news for Microsoft, as the company’s Windows 8.1 and Windows Mobile OSes continue to fight for market share.  The rise in Chromebooks means OEMs have more leverage when dealing with Microsoft, while more home users and enterprise workers enjoy alternatives to Windows. However, most consumer and business applications are designed for the Windows environment, and there is a learning curve when adopting Chrome OS.

Source: NPD