It isn’t a secret that Microsoft is not fond of Google’s Chromebooks. They are one of the things Microsoft has attacked Google for in its scroogled campaign. However, up until recently Microsoft hasn’t been able to compete that well with Google’s Chromebooks because its partners haven’t offered enough cheap devices. That all changes now according to Microsoft’s rhetoric at its WPC (Worldwide Partner Conference). For this holiday season Microsoft has been working with Acer, Toshiba and HP to bring full Windows 8 notebooks to the same price as Chromebooks. The two models displayed above are from Acer and Toshiba and cost $249 but HP is also expected to bring a $199 Windows 8 notebook in for this holiday season too, the device will be called “Stream”. HP will also release 7 and 8 inch versions of its Stream PCs for just $99.
How are Windows partners achieving these cost savings? Well firstly Microsoft is cutting the bulk Windows license costs to its partners so they can produce cheaper notebooks: this is important given Chrome OS is totally free. Secondly, Intel’s latest Bay Trail CPU platform is helping bring the costs of Windows tablets down. Although Bay Trail is arriving with Chromebooks too so it isn’t just Windows notebooks that will benefit. The main worry for Microsoft here is that its partners “under-equip” these budget notebooks, such a move would be fatal since Chrome OS runs a lot more efficiently than Windows 8.X. If Microsoft’s partners simply sell rubbish spec’d Windows notebooks: 2GB of RAM, Bay Trail CPUs and 500GB mechanical hard drives, then it is unlikely these units will be able to compete against the snappy Chromebooks that use SSD storage and require minimal RAM.
Source: The Verge
Image courtesy of The Verge