“Chromebooks, the minimalist laptops powered by Google’s browser-based Chrome operating system, exploded onto the market share this year, and appear to be finishing the year on particularly strong note,” Matt Marshall reports for VentureBeat. “According to just one popular metric, Amazon.com is showing that Chromebooks make up three of its top four best-seller laptops.”

“And that’s after Chromebooks already boosted their overall market share among commercial buyers (businesses, schools, governments, etc) through November this year to 21 percent for notebooks, and 10 percent for all computers and tablets, according to the market research firm, NPD Group,” Marshall reports. “That’s up from almost nothing last year: two-tenths of one percent for all computer and tablet sales.”

“That’s really rough news news for Microsoft, which is the principal loser of market share against the Chromebooks,” Marshall reports. “Samsung‘s Chromebook and the Acer C720 Chromebook — came in as two of the three best-selling notebooks during the U.S. holiday season. The third was Asus‘ Transformer Book, a Windows 8.1 device that can alternate between a 10.1-inch tablet to a keyboard-equipped laptop.”

MacDailyNews Take: There’s a special tier of stupid reserved for “Asus Transformer Book” owners. As with “Do you own a Surface tablet?”, it should be used in job interviews as an instant disqualifier.

“Google is doing with its Chrome OS for PCs what it did with Android for smartphones: License its operating system to manufacturers essentially for free, in the interest of spreading web-based devices that help Google to serve more web-based advertising,” Marshall reports. “A good part of Microsoft’s business is based on Windows, and so it can’t afford to give it away for fee.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Between them, like a mercilessly tightening vise, Apple from the top down and Google from the bottom up, are squeezing beleaguered Microsoft to death.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader "Fred Mertz" for the heads up.]