The world’s second-most popular desktop operating system isn’t macOS anymore

Despite the fact that macOS landed in third, it might not be accurate to see this as an example of Google beating out Apple directly. Rather, it’s likely that Chrome OS has been primarily pulling sales and market share away from Windows at the low end of the market. Mac market share actually grew from 6.7 percent in 2019 to 7.5 percent in 2020. (rewrite the headline folks!)

Just a few of the Chromebooks we've reviewed and tested in recent years.

Enlarge / Just a few of the Chromebooks we’ve reviewed and tested in recent years. (credit: Valentina Palladino)

For ages now, every annual report on desktop operating system market share has had the same top two contenders: Microsoft’s Windows in a commanding lead at number one, and Apple’s macOS in distant second place. But in 2020, Chrome OS became the second-most popular OS, and Apple fell to third.

That’s according to numbers by market data firm IDC, and a report on IDC’s data by publication GeekWire. Chrome OS had passed macOS in briefly in individual quarters before, but 2020 was the first full year where Apple’s OS took third place.

Despite the fact that macOS landed in third, it might not be accurate to see this as an example of Google beating out Apple directly. Rather, it’s likely that Chrome OS has been primarily pulling sales and market share away from Windows at the low end of the market. Mac market share actually grew from 6.7 percent in 2019 to 7.5 percent in 2020.

Read 4 remaining paragraphs | Comments