Microsoft Announces $199 Windows 8 Laptops to Take On Chromebooks
Microsoft has announced that its partners Acer, Toshiba and HP will launch low-budget Windows 8 laptops. We will be seeing laptops priced at $199 and some tablets priced at $99. Both of these devices will be Windows-based.
This move by Microsoft is an assault on Google. Google’s Chromebooks are low-budget devices that run Chrome OS at their heart and boot in seconds. The user works in a web browser to perform different operations. Google has sold one million chromebooks in the last quarter. Microsoft intends to knock Google off their perch with the launch of $199 Windows-based laptops.
Microsoft has been successful in PC market in gaining consumers’ confidence and they have been ruling the laptop world too. This is not the first time they are facing a competitor in this market. They have faced some rivals before too. Netbooks ran Linux operating system and they were popular among manufacturers. But Microsoft was able to eliminate this threat and regain their claim to PC and laptop market.
This time Microsoft is using the same strategy — it used to eliminate the threat posed by Linux-based Netbooks — by offering $199 laptops running Windows 8 and fending off consumers’ interest in Chromebooks, and by offering $99 tablet to compete with Android-based tablets, which have flooded the market.
Kevin Turner, Microsoft Chief Operating Officer, revealed that HP will be launching a new series for such low-cost laptops. This series will be called “Stream”. However, he didn’t mention the specifications of Stream laptops, and whether these laptops will be running Windows 8 RT or full version of Windows 8.1.
He also revealed that Acer and Toshiba will launch low-cost laptops priced at $249. Intel’s Celeron processors will help manufacturers in keeping the cost low and providing laptops with feasible hardware. Following are specs of the devices revealed so far:
HP will also be launching 7- and 8-inch “Stream” tablets for $99.
Microsoft has been making bold moves recently, and this is one of them. Launching low-cost laptops only beats Google’s Chromebooks by price. Chromebook’s simplicity and user interface have made it very successful among the consumers, especially in the education sector. Google has also announced at Google I/O that Chromebooks will be able to use Android apps soon.
But Chromebooks are suitable only for mediocre users who run web apps and browse the Internet. It has its own limitations. If Microsoft is able to address those issues in its low-cost laptops, it will take no time in eliminating the threat posed by Chromebooks.
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