Earlier this month, we told you that ASUS’ first Chromebook based on the low-cost Rockchip RK3288 platform was due to arrive on the market any time now.
The model was spotted with an online retailer, but pricing specifications haven't been revealed just yet. Nevertheless, as earlier rumors have indicated, the new laptops will probably sell for as low as $179 / €167.
We might end up seeing Chromebooks with even lower price tags in the upcoming months, and Microsoft knows this all too well. That’s why, the Redmond tech giant has a plan to counter the advent of extremely low priced Chrome OS notebooks.
Microsoft is cooking up extremely cheap Windows 10 laptops
According to Asian publication DigiTimes, Microsoft is gearing up to launch Windows 10-powered alternatives to counter Google’s Chromebooks priced at $150 / €138 and below.
The report claims Microsoft is looking to sell these upcoming laptops with price tags ranging from $149 / €138 to $179 / €165.
Microsoft’s new budget notebooks will be offered for the educational and consumer market alike and will be powered by the Intel Bay Trail-T platform.
The model aimed at the educational environment will be manufactured by Elitegroup Computer Systems and will sell for around $179 / €165. As for the consumer model, it will be developed by the China-based 3 Nod and be marketed for around $149 / €138.
While most Chromebooks on the market today are 11.6-inchers, the report goes on to mention that Google is planning to bring more 13.3-inch and 15.6-inch models into the sunlight.
The battle between Windows and Chrome OS laptops continues
Microsoft’s upcoming Chromebook-killers are also based on 11.6-inch factors, but we shouldn’t be surprised if the Redmond giant follows Google’s lead and expands to larger form factors as well.
While Chromebooks haven’t achieved a lot of success outside of the US, Microsoft is treating these inexpensive laptops as a big threat and acting accordingly.
The report mentions that cheap notebooks running Windows 10 will probably make an appearance at retail in mid-2015.
Microsoft is following the model it set up last year when it started offering its so-called BingBooks as Chromebook alternatives with Windows 8.1 with Bing on board. Most brand vendors jumped onboard with the tech giant, so we can expect a plethora of new laptops running Redmond’s latest OS in the upcoming months.