By Adam Z. Lein | March 22, 2013 9:25 AM
We’ve been hearing a lot about how horrible Windows RT is with its lack of apps and occasional slowness due to its ARM processor requirements. Even the Microsoft Surface RT, which seems to be the most popular Windows RT device out there, has only sold around 1.1 million devices since its launch according to Bloomberg. Nvidia is disappointed, Samsung has cancelled their Windows RT tablet plans, and the general consensus around the internet is that Windows RT is a failure. That’s not to be confused with Windows 8, which is much more popular with sales in the 60 million range.
Nobody seems to talk about how poorly Chromebooks are doing though. It seems to be an interesting comparison since both Windows RT and Google’s Chrome OS are very young tablet-sized screen operating systems intended to be inexpensive and power efficient.
As Digitimes reports, total sales of Chromebooks over the past 2 years have been around 500,000. So yes, the Surface RT has sold twice that many in only a few months. Both types of devices seem to have a pretty similar distribution. I see Chromebooks in BestBuy right next to the Windows RT tablets. I see Chromebook commercials on TV during the same shows that have Surface RT commercials. So it doesn’t seem to be a marketing issue. Still it looks like even Windows RT is doing a lot better than Google’s Chrome OS. Acer actually thinks Chromebooks are doing well according to Bloomberg. Chrome-based models accounted for 5 percent to 10 percent of Acer’s U.S. shipments since November.
Don’t get me wrong, I personally think both Windows RT and the Chrome OS are completely useless now that I have a Surface Pro, but at least Windows RT has a pretty clear spot in Microsoft’s ecosystem and runs the same “modern” apps designed for Windows 8. The Chromebooks don’t even run the same apps as Google’s other mobile operating systems. In fact, Chromebooks are basically just a web browser on some hardware. If you thought a $500 Surface RT was expensive, have you seen the $1450 web browser called the Chromebook Pixel? I’m not sure how anyone can justify buying one of those! I guess it’s the 1Tb of Google Drive cloud storage, but wouldn’t you need a real computer to load that up with anything?
Which do you think will be more successful in the long run, Windows RT or Google’s Chrome OS? Or will both of them die out pretty soon?