February 24, 2021

Tech News

Daily Technical News

MacOS Drops to Third Most Popular Desktop OS

Chrome OS is now second, but it grabbed market share from Microsoft, not Apple.

By Matthew Humphries

2020 was a very unusual year for everyone, and it ushered in a big shift in the desktop operating system market.

Windows has always had a commanding lead, with macOS coming in a distant second. But as GeekWire reports, the latest IDC report reveals that last year, the market changed, and a surge from Google’s Chrome OS has moved it into second place, pushing macOS down to third.

You may think that signals bad news for Apple, but actually, it’s Microsoft who suffered. The figures reveal that macOS use increased from a 6.7% market share in 2019 to 7.5% last year. Windows suffered a steep drop, falling from 85.4% in 2019 to 80.5% in 2020. And Chrome OS that’s the big winner, jumping from 6.4% in 2019 to 10.8% last year, handing it a clear second place in the charts.

2020 was the biggest year for PC demand in a decade, and for good reason. Millions of people were told to stay at home, but they still needed to work and be entertained, and children still needed to learn, so we all bought computers. With that in mind, it’s impossible to predict if this Chrome OS surge was simply due to a combination of so many people needing a laptop, short supply, and cost, or whether macOS will become a permanent third-place desktop operating system now.

Microsoft clearly realizes Chrome OS is a threat to its market share and is responding. Windows 10X is in development as a viable competitor to Google’s operating system. It was meant to appear on devices last year, but likely due to the pandemic, it never appeared. We shouldn’t be surprised if laptops and tablets running 10X appear this year, though.

Originally published at https://www.pcmag.com.


MacOS Drops to Third Most Popular Desktop OS was originally published in PC Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.