Editor’s note: As noted in the graph above, the numbers in this article refer only to the commercial channel, as NPD does not measure direct sales. Some of the language below has been updated to clarify this point.
A new release from the NPD Group indicates that notebooks running Google’s Chrome OS have gained significant ground in the past year. According to the statistics, over one-fifth of all laptops sold in 2013 were running the free software. Of course, it should be noted that the numbers presented don’t take built-to-order machines or direct sales into account, instead relying on sales of pre-configured options, but even so, this impressive figure is still very good news for Google.
In fact, when considering all computer sales, including desktop and notebook form factors, Chromebooks have still gained a pretty sizeable chunk of the market. Last year Chromebooks took home a measly 0.2%. This year, however, the number comes in closer to one-tenth of the market at 9.6%.
While that may not seem like much next to the 34.1% of all computer sales held by Windows-powered notebooks, it’s over five times better than Apple’s sales for its entire MacBook lineup combined. It now seems that Google—not Apple—is in the best position to someday knock Microsoft from the top of the notebook computer market.