Apple is not only upsetting the MacBook and Mac market with the move to ARM-based processors, it will also impact the wider market. Microsoft will be forced to speed up its Windows 10 project on ARM to allow its partners to stay in touch with Apple. And Google will have to consider the danger to its Chromebook project.
Previously I talked about the impact of Apple’s move to ARM-based processors on the Windows 10 ecosystem. In summary, Microsoft’s Windows 10 operating system on ARM will be highlighted; rival laptop makers will no doubt offer at least one ARM-based line-up in the portfolio rather than letting Apple take all the glory; and we’ll focus more on fixing legacy app compatibility (something Windows 10 and MacOS will have to deal with quickly and smoothly).
But there is another competitor who should worry about the danger posed by Apple’s move: Google and its Chromebook and ChromeOS project.
Chromebooks are lightweight laptops (and tablets, but here I’m focusing on laptop space) that are built around the Google Chrome browser. The vast majority of apps are run from the cloud. Data can be stored locally but the focus is on data in the cloud.
Search the Google home page for the operating system and the ecosystem; see battery life, fast startup times, “smart” quality of life features such as instant tethering on mobile devices, voice-activated Google assistant and product safety.
With Apple expected to start with a MacBook Pro on ARM later this year, you can see that this new MacOS laptop is facing the Chromebook project head-on.
A number of Google’s key points are in the software. Apple is confident in its approach to security, its voice assistant in Siri is available on Mac and the quality of life features are replicated, for example the Instant Hotspot function. The main features of the OS software are covered.
The benefits offered by ARM are closely related to the benefits of a Chromebook. Extend battery life for similar performance on an Intel chip. You have improved connectivity over a cellular or wireless network and have increased battery life. And you can offer more computing power at a lower price.
Where you will see an advantage Google will be in the suite of online apps including Google Docs and Google Sheets, as well as the PIM functionality of Gmail, Contacts and Calendar. Apple takes a slightly different approach to file management for the iWork suite, but the end result is the same … Apple has its fully functional apps that work just as well with local or cloud-based files.
I am confident that any launch event will focus heavily on the points that directly affect the Chromebook; i.e. long battery life, security and Apple’s bundled applications, including the iWork suite above.
Google’s previous criterion was the tsunami of laptops with Windows 10. The price of Macs, including MacBook Air’s $ 999, made them out of reach for any meaningful comparison. With a discussed price advantage of $ 200 on Mac laptops with ARM technology, Apple is part of the disruptive range of the Chromebook revolution.
How will Google respond?
Now read more about the first MacBook Pro that uses ARM processors …