Chrome OS nibbling away at Windows market while macOS holds steady

According to global shipment readings from the analytics group IDC, the year 2020 made Chrome OS rise as Windows fell. In the year 2019, IDC showed Windows with a total global PC marketshare at 85.4%. In the year 2020, Windows global marketshare rang in at 80.5%, for a year-over-year fall of 4.9%. Chrome OS global marketshare rose by almost that same percentage over the same period of time.

ICD's readings via GeekWire include all manner of computers with desktop OS onboard, including laptops, desktops, and workstations. They've shown Chrome OS up 4.4% year-over-year, from 6.4% for the entirety of the year 2019, to 10.8% for the entirety of the year 2020.

Apple's macOS, meanwhile, went from 6.7% in the year 2019 to 7.5% in the year 2020 for global marketshare according to the ICD. It's important to note here that the ICD does not include tablet operating systems in this set of readings – so we're not looking at the iPad, just Mac computers.

Over the course of 2020, Windows did nothing but fall, each successive quarter. Windows OS Q1, Q2, Q3, and Q4 2020 read as follows: 87.5%, 81.7%, 78.9%, and 76.7% (global PC OS market share). Apple's macOS went up, then up, then down again – from 5.8% to 7.6% to 8.4% to 7.7%.

Chrome OS global market share went up, up, and up in 2020. Per the ICD numbers, Chrome OS had 5.3% of the market in Q1, then 10%, then 11.5%, and finally 14.4% in Q4.

Google's Chrome OS and Microsoft's Windows OS are available in devices made by a variety of manufacturers, while Apple is the sole manufacturer of macOS devices. If this trend continues, it's likely more manufacturers will cut back on Windows PC production, ramp up production on Chrome OS devices, and Apple will... continue to ride between 5 and 10% of the global market.