Microsoft readies $199 Windows 8 laptop and $99 tablet to combat Chrome OS and Android: Will this plan work?

By Vamien McKalin, Tech Times | July 18, 4:35 AM

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Microsoft is not happy about the state it is currently in, and as such, the company is working closely with partners to oversee the launch of cheap Windows 8 laptops and tablets for the holiday.
(Photo : Maurizio Pesce)

It appears Microsoft has finally admitted to itself that the Google Chromebook laptops are a real threat that could damage the Windows business more than how it is already damaged due to Windows 8. In light of Google's onslaught on Microsoft's core business, the company is hoping to keep ahead by having its partners release cheap Windows-based devices.

This wouldn't be the first time Microsoft has to up against an adversary that wanted to combat Windows with cheap laptop devices running a none Windows operating system. In the past, we saw the rise of the Netbook; however, at the time these devices were running Linux based operating systems. The move proved popular among manufacturers, and this forced Microsoft to get involved and completely remove Linux as a threat.

The years have passed since the rise of the Netbook, but threats against Windows have not slowed. The latest is coming from Google and its small army of Chromebook devices. These devices are cheap, and that's mainly because they don't need super-powered hardware to perform. The operating system inside is called Chrome OS, and it is basically at its core, a web browser.

To fend off this latest threat, Microsoft is aiming to pull off the same tactic it did against Linux operating systems on Netbooks in the past. The company announced a plan with its partners to launch a $199 laptop that is designed to compete with Chromebooks, and a surprisingly $99 tablet that is designed to compete with cheap Android-based tablets that are flooding the market all over the world.

The $199 laptop is HP made, though Microsoft COO Kevin Turner, did not state the specifications of the device, only that we should see it just time for the holidays.

Furthermore, he mentioned that Acer and Toshiba will launch new laptops for just $249. The Acer device comes with a 15.6-inch display, 2.16GHz Intel Celeron processor, 4GB of RAM, 500GB hard drive, and Windows 8. On the matter of the Toshiba device, it is expected to launch with an 11.6-inch display, 32GB SSD drive, and weighs around 2.4 pounds.

While we view this move as promising on the part of Microsoft, we have to wonder if it is enough to break Google and its march with Chromebooks.

The main selling point of Chromebooks is simplicity, and not to mention the user interface is the same as Chrome OS, so no huge learning curve. Windows 8 devices are different, and this could pose as a problem in this new push by Microsoft.

It's a proven fact that people don't like Windows 8, we doubt they would come to like it on a $199 laptop, or tablet costing $99.

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