People buy off people
Whenever these stories are published, I always sigh when I read comments about whatever people seem to think is technically superior, or why their particular OS/device of choice isn't the most popular and should be.
People buy off people. Whether you want to admit it or not, that's why Windows did so well. You see back in the day Microsoft had suited up sales reps, who went into businesses and "sold" the Microsoft dream to other suited up business types. They did this early on. Home users thought, well if it's good enough for massive companies, it's probably good enough for me - it has backing of people and a company. That's why it took off. It was never to do with how technically superior the OS/software was, or anything like that. It's all to do with the human connection and interaction when selling an "idea" (hardware, software, both, *whatever*) to potential users (aka customers, aka people who will help make it more successful by providing financial backing).
If you contrast this to Linux... well, who do I speak to if I'm thinking of using Linux? Who's selling it to me? Where's the marketing? Is it cool - does everyone else use it or want to use it? It has a massive identity crisis.
Google and Chrome OS is an interesting one. Google is obviously a massive - and incredibly well known - company with huge amounts of resource and not that bad at marketing. But, it's faceless. If I want to talk to someone about a Pixelbook, I don't want it to be some spaz in PC World.
Why have Apple done so well? Aside from their marketing, they have countless stores with "geniuses" (a term used very loosley)... but nonetheless, if people need support they can just go and speak to *someone*, or talk and find out more about a device. The key word is "someone" - people interacting with other people - and subsequently gaining market share.
I've never really been sure how Linux fits into this model - a model of how the world actually works, and what end-users want. I'm 50/50 on whether Chrome OS will do well, but on the face of it, no it won't. At all.