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Chromebooks: the Mobile Cloud Computing Catalyst

While Microsoft and Intel were busy planning the introduction of a high-price Ultrabook PC concept -- that was focused on vendor needs for higher profit margins -- Google was working on developing a low-price Chromebook model that was targeted at an under-served market.

What's the primary benefits of a Chromebook? They're cloud-centric, budget-friendly, fast-booting, battery-efficient, secure computing devices that are more functional than media tablets and less expensive than the typical notebook PC.

Besides, the Chromebook is a forward-thinking device, enabled by a software platform that has already transformed server computing -- the operating system is based on open-source Linux.

Built for the Mobile Cloud Era

In 2014, Chromebooks gained more traction in the North America market, and are set to continue growing as online streaming devices become more popular among consumers and business buyers.

According to the latest market study by ABI Research, Chromebooks experienced 235 percent growth between 2013 and 2014, with shipments reaching 4.87 million in 2014.

"The rollout of cloud services and the 2009 global economic collapse created the opportunity for developers to provide a budget-friendly solution for consumers," said Stephanie Van Vactor, research analyst at ABI Research.

Chromebooks were the result of an insightful Google innovation, according to the ABI assessment -- they were built for the 'anytime, anywhere' access to content that has defined the mobile cloud era.

Forward-Looking Market Development

Deployments in the education market have increased substantially for Chromebooks, mostly because of Google Apps for Education, a collaborative platform that allows students and teachers to learn wherever and whenever.

For 2014, business and education purchasing entities accounted for 62 percent of Chromebook shipments. So, what's the primary drivers for continued market upside? The growing consumption in North America combined with the frugal consumer has created a niche of success for Chromebooks.

According to the ABI assessment, it takes less than a day of typical household income to purchase a Chromebook. The average selling price for Chromebooks in America is $266.25, while the price for an equally capable tablet is $420.90.

The financial risk factor of investing in a Chromebook is significantly reduced, especially for the increased functionality. Moreover, Google has taken to heart the popularity of mobile platforms and developed a personal computing device that is a very functional cloud service consumption solution.

ABI believes that this style of cloud-centered computing works well for the on-the-go lifestyle, and will further impact the future of personal computing as the market continues to shift and change.

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