Microsoft going after Chromebooks with new budget HP laptop?

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Back at Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference last month, we heard that the technology giant was not sitting pretty and letting its competitors like Google take all the shine from low cost computers. Rather, Microsoft was partnering with the likes of HP to bring to the market some low cost computers that will take on the frenzy that is Google’s web-browser centered Chrome OS-powered computers, the Chromebooks. As per an article by Mobile Geeks (translate), that HP computer we heard about back then is almost ready for launch and we could be seeing hit some store shelves pretty soon.

Specifications of the HP laptop referred to as Stream but bearing the looks and internals of a similar machine by the same company running Chrome OS (the Chromebook 14) include a 14 inch 1366 x 768 pixel display with 16:9 aspect ratio, an AMD SoC backed by an AMD Radeon R3 graphics card, 2 GB RAM, 32 or 64 GB internal storage, a 3 cell Lithium ion battery, Windows 8.1 and 100 GB One Drive storage for two years on top (just like a Chromebook). You can see a full run down of the technical specifications below:

How much will the device go for? Not more than $249 though it is being quoted at exactly $200 by some sources. That puts directly in the path of Google-backed Chromebooks from the likes of Samsung, Acer and the rest who also happen to Microsoft’s PC partners. We should expect future trends in computing to swing this way since as Chromebooks have shown, there is quite a number of people (particularly students) who just need a “lite” computing device that is way beyond the scope of current tablets like the iPad but within reach of the PC though just utilizing apps on demand with no need of lots of power specs as there’s no heavy lifting on the user side; just lightweight browsing, document editing and probably music and TV show/movie streaming the very extreme. Over a million Chromebooks were sold in Q2 and Chromebooks still top Amazon bestseller lists.

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