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Microsoft beware: Google Chromebooks could surge

Chromebook shipments could spike in the second half of the year. That's not good news for Microsoft, which is seeing falling laptop deliveries.

HP's 14-inch Chromebook.
HP's 14-inch Chromebook. Hewlett-Packard

Shipments of Chromebooks based on Google's Chrome operating system will surge in the second half of this year, according to an Asia-based report.

Shipments could be "double or even triple" the number in the first half of the year, according to a report Monday in Digitimes that cites unnamed electronics component suppliers.

The report attributes the expected surge partly to "weak demand for Windows 8" and as a way for companies like Asus "to counter Microsoft's dominance."

In addition to Asus, vendors slated to boost the number of Chromebook models include Acer, Hewlett-Packard, Samsung, and Lenovo.

Acer will up its shipments by three fold, while Samsung is eying a four fold increase, the report said.

It is estimated that Chromebooks from Google, Acer and Samsung hold between 20 percent and 25 percent of the sub-$300 laptop market in the U.S., according to the report.

Though Chrome OS has been dinged in the past for not being a "full-time OS," Google's "pace of improvement"...is ambitious," said CNET reviews.

Price alone makes Chromebooks attractive. Samsungs $249 Chromebook has been a consistent bestseller on Amazon. As has Acer's $220 Chromebook.

Windows 8 laptops typically start at around $599. Overall, deliveries of Windows laptops have been falling on a quarterly basis, according to IDC and Gartner.