Why are Chromebooks outselling Macs?

Also in today's open source roundup: Will Chromebooks and Android apps kill Windows PCs? And DistroWatch reviews the Clonezilla Live utility

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Why are Chromebooks outselling Macs?

The recent news that Chromebooks have started to outsell Macs for the first time came as a shock to some people. Chromebooks clearly have significant momentum in the marketplace, and their success has some wondering why they are beginning to beat Apple's laptop sales.

The topic came up in a recent discussion on the Linux subreddit and folks there weren't shy about sharing their thoughts:

Bill_Morgan: "A $149 Chromebook is outselling a $1499 MacBook. Wow! What's next? Hyundai outselling BMW?"

Port53: "It isn't important because google/whoever is making almost no money on that $149 sale, what's important is that Apple isn't making $1499 on a sale instead. People are opting out of spending $1499 on a device when they can buy a device for $149 that does everything they need anyway."

Gutigen: "I don't think that those who buy $1499 MacBook would even look at any $149 laptop, kinda different kind of a buyer, different market."

Jack_Bohlen: "Well for one thing, the management software is not available in all the markets for iOS devices. That was a huge factor in our decision for going with ChromeOS devices. We have about ~40 iPads (compare that to close to 3000 ChromeOS devices) and it's a pain in the ass to manage them and apps and all that.. "

DrunkJosh: "Having managed thousands of Chromebooks and thousands of iPads, I can say that Chromebook management is a blessing. It really couldn't be easier. I wanted to set all of the iPads on fire any time I had to do anything with them."

Fotoman: "They're giving these things away by the truckloads to schools. Ironically an Apple play from the past few decades."

RobotStabber: "It gets kids into the Google ecosystem while they're young. Might not be too long before Google Docs is the standard over Microsoft Office."

Mlts22: "This is what Apple needs to do again. Apple got a lot of mindshare by being very common in education, but has seemed to have forgotten that in the post-Jobs era."

Aurorafluxic: "When one product costs a tenth of what the other machine costs, and is only technically capable of a lot less (since most people would be fine with the functionality of a ChromeBook), yeah, this will probably happen and it's not that surprising."

Kidawesome: "Considering Google Play Store is coming to ChromeOS. Chromebooks just got a LOT more useful."

Ziggitz: "Apple has the best hardware performance for sure, mainly because they control the software hardware and drivers. Pretty much nothing beats macbook pros when accounting for performance, form factor and battery life because nobody else has such fine grain control over what goes into the product.

I have one for work and it's great, however if I'm paying for it I'd go for the chromebook purely because the cost of the MBP just isn't worth the money for what I would use it for."

Merreborn: "My kid's elementary school is actually paying for chromebooks – planning on buying enough to have one for every student in 3 grades, or something like that. Although probably at a discounted educational rate – which, as you noted, was Apple's schtick in the late 80s and 90s.

Looks like this is the "buy chromebooks for your school" marketing page: https://www.google.com/edu/products/devices/"

Tonedeath: "Chromebooks are a bigger threat to Microsoft than they are to Apple. However, I'll bet that Chromebooks are also stealing iPad sales more than they are stealing MacBook sales.

More at Reddit

Will Chromebooks and Android apps kill Windows PCs?

Google is working hard to bring Android apps to Chrome OS, and when it finally happens it could be very bad news for Windows PCs. A writer at ZDNet considers what will happen when Android apps finally arrive for Chrome OS.

SJVN reports for ZDNet:

I see a real challenge ahead for Windows now that, after years of development, Google is bringing the majority of its Android applications to Chrome OS. Soon, Chrome OS will have just as many applications, if not more, than Windows.

…people have also long complained that they can't play games without Windows. Well, I think we all know that there are tens-of-thousands of Android games. So, whether you use your laptop for business or games, this marriage of Android apps and the Chromebook format is going to make Chromebooks much more attractive.

The only Android apps and features that won't work are those that specifically require hardware features – such as GPS – that Chromebooks don't include, said Kan Liu, Google's Chrome OS Director of Product Management. "We will fully support all Android apps, subject to the hardware requirements these apps have," said Liu.

At first only higher-end Chromebooks with touchscreens, such as the Pixel 2, will support Android apps. But, Liu promises that Android apps will eventually run on Chromebooks without touchscreens as well.

More at ZDNet

DistroWatch reviews the Clonezilla Live utility

Clonezilla Live is a utility that lets users make copies of their hard disks and partitions. Jesse Smith did a full review of Clonezilla and found it be an extremely useful tool that saved him tons of time by making it easy to save and restore disk images.

Jesse Smith reports for DistroWatch:

There are several things I like about Clonezilla. One positive characteristic is that the project exemplifies doing one task and doing it well. Clonezilla is a very focused project, it clones hard drives and partitions and that is all. It provides many ways to save and restore these images and Clonezilla can work in several different environments, but ultimately it just saves and restores disk images and I like that.

Another thing I like is that Clonezilla fills an important and practical niche. I personally have saved myself hundreds of hours of work by using Clonezilla rather than manually installing operating systems to new computers. This is a utility I highly advise system administrators and computer enthusiasts keep on hand.

Third, and perhaps most importantly, I find Clonezilla easy to use. The concept of imaging disk drives and, often times, the practice of imaging drives can be complex. To save an image of a partition, compress it, encrypt it and send it over the network to a remote server would require several steps from the command line. With Clonezilla's step-by-step wizard and on-screen hints the process is relatively short. The steps are orderly and the prompts usually provide good default options, making it relatively easy to save and restore partition images.

In short, if you need to deploy a lot of machines quickly, or archive hard drive data, Clonezilla is a wonderful, time-saving tool to have. I have been using it for several years now and it is one of my favourite Linux-based utilities.

More at DistroWatch

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