Microsoft is ready to lock horns with Google in the PC market’s bargain basement in the shape of a range of new budget Windows-ready laptops that are built to challenge the Chromebook.
Company COO Kevin Turner told the firm’s Worldwide Partner Conference 2014 in Washington D.C. that three companies in the shape of HP, Acer and Toshiba are all releasing devices that are in the sub-$249 [£145] category, according to The Verge.
HP’s “Stream” laptop will be a $199 [£117] model and it is also planning to release two smaller versions with 7in and 8in displays that are both set to be priced at $99 [£58] and be available over the festive period.
"We are going to participate at the low-end," says Turner. "We’ve got a great value proposition against Chromebooks, we are not ceding the market to anyone."
Turner revealed little on the HP laptops, however, he did give some more detail on the machines that Acer and Toshiba will be releasing. The Acer Aspire ES1 is priced at $249.99 [£145] with a 2.16GHz Intel Celeron processor, 15.6in screen, 4GB of RAM and 500GB of onboard storage. The Toshiba 11.6in is priced at the same level with a smaller 11.6in screen, 32GB SSD and is “super lightweight” at just 2.4lbs.
Its attack on Chromebooks didn’t end there with a list of six things a Windows PC can do that a Chromebook can’t. This includes being able to run native and web apps, run the full version of Office, offer desktop apps, work well offline with limited bandwidth, work with various different peripherals, and print directly to a printer.
Microsoft’s moves fit in with its current strategy that has seen Windows licensing costs fall in order for device manufacturers to offer machines at lower prices and ultimately bring the fight to Google at the bottom end of the market.