Windows laptops see major market share drop for the first time

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Microsoft has seen a noteworthy drop in sales for laptops using Windows 10, new figures have revealed. Although Windows remains the dominant choice in the notebook market, Windows’ market share has fallen below 80% for the first time ever according to recent research.

Research by TrendForce found that notebook computer sales overall surged during 2020, driven in part by the coronavirus pandemic and the need for more employees to work remotely. Notebook computer shipments grew by 22.5% year-on-year in 2020, with worldwide sales surpassing 200 million for the first time.

Unfortunately for Microsoft, Chromebooks sales are accounting for a sizeable chunk of the overall sales increase, eating into Windows’ market share. Chromebooks accounted for just under 15% of global notebook units last year, with this figure predicted to hit 18.5% in 2021.

Still the market leader

Of course, Microsoft is unlikely to be overly concerned about the relative decline in Windows laptop sales. Windows remains the dominant operating system in the notebook space by quite some way and TrendForce expects the market shares of Windows, Chrome OS, and macOS laptops to level off at around 70-75%, 15-20%, and below 10%, respectively.

Given their portability, price range, and ease of use, it is perhaps unsurprising that Chromebooks had a good year in 2020. The devices shipped 29.6 million units across the calendar year just gone, representing a year-on-year growth rate of 74%.

Sales of mid-range and high-end mixed-use business notebooks are expected to remain high throughout 2021, although shipments will largely depend on how businesses react to the easing of restrictions once the coronavirus pandemic retreats into the past.

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Barclay Ballard

Barclay has been writing about technology for a decade, starting out as a freelancer with ITProPortal covering everything from London’s start-up scene to comparisons of the best cloud storage services.  After that, he spent some time as the managing editor of an online outlet focusing on cloud computing, furthering his interest in virtualization, Big Data, and the Internet of Things.