Google Chromebooks have begun outselling Apple Macs in the United States, according to an analyst from research firm IDC.
Nearly 2 million laptops running Chrome OS shipped during the first quarter of 2016, IDC analyst Linn Huang told The Verge. That’s enough to advance the platform past Apple, which shipped roughly 1.76 million units over the same period.
IDC attributes Chromebooks’ rising market-share to K-12 education; Google made a very hard push to establish the laptops as ideal companions for students, and the effort seems to be paying off.
But schools aren’t the only factor. Late last year, research firm The NPD Group released data suggesting that Chromebooks had made significant inroads into business technology stacks. Although many enterprises continue to rely on Windows machines, business sales of devices equipped with Chrome OS and Android increased by 29 percent in the first six months of 2015, the firm found—beating both Windows and Apple devices.
For both workers and students, Chromebooks offer a cost-effective way to quickly complete lightweight computing tasks such as document creation and answering email. Recent updates to Chrome OS have given the machines more offline capability, as well.
Increased traction for Chromebooks comes at an auspicious time for PCs. Although Microsoft Windows continues to dominate the PC operating-system market, mobile devices have come to dominate most folks’ computing lives; they’ll reach for a smartphone or tablet before they consider booting up their desktop. Although Microsoft is attempting to meet this trend by supporting Windows 10 on a wide range of devices, from large screens down to small phones, it faces an uphill battle against Google and Apple, which have made a duopoly out of the mobile OS market.
If you’re interested in developing apps for Chrome, check out Google’s developer resources. There’s even a handy tutorial that walks Chrome newbies through creating their first app, including the creation of background scripts and window pages.