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Microsoft Gunning For Google Chromebooks With a $199 HP Stream Notebook, New Rockchip, MediaTek Chips Could Make Chromebooks Even Cheaper

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By Sovan Mandal | July 19, 2014 10:17 AM EST

Chromebooks will be up against a new challenger in the form of a $199 HP notebook running Windows 8.1. The HP Stream laptop, as it is named will be launched during the holiday quarter, announced Microsoft COO Kevin Turner during the company's Worldwide Partner Conference. In fact, it's a three pronged attack awaiting Chromebooks later in the year though similar offerings from Acer and Toshiba will cost a bit higher at $249 each.

REUTERS/Pichi Chuang
A employee stands in the Microsoft booth during the 2014 Computex exhibition at the TWTC Nangang exhibition hall in Taipei June 3, 2014.

COO Kevin also stated during the event they have 7 and 8 inch tablets as well in the pipeline with prices starting at just $99, reports Engadget. That the ultra-low price point is achieved thanks to Microsoft's move to make its Windows OS free for devices below 9 inches is all too clear, mentions Engadget.

However, both HP and Microsoft have kept a tight leash on the internal build-up of the HP Stream though things are slightly better with the Acer and Toshiba devices. The Acer device will be offering a 15.6 inch display and will be powered by a 2.16 Ghz Intel Celeron chip mated to a 4 GB RAM and a 500 GB memory. The Toshiba offering will be on the other end of the scale in that it will be offering a 11.6 inch display and will feature just a 32 GB SSD memory for storage.  Toshiba is also harping on its low weight characteristics, which at 2.4 pounds will be one of its biggest USPs.

Meanwhile, there are also reports of Chromebook prices driving further south thanks to new MediaTek and Rockchip processors coming onto the scene, reports Liliputing. Both MediaTek and Rockchip are keen to push its ARM Cortex-A7 and RK3288 ARM-based chips as a cheaper alternative to the Intel or other ARM based chips that currently go into the making of Chromebooks. The cheapest Chromebooks right now sell at around the $200 mark. With Microsoft gunning for that price point with its future Windows based notebooks, it could make sense for Google to explore other cheaper options for an even more affordable line of Chromebooks, speculates Brad Linder at Liliputing. 

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(Photo: REUTERS/Pichi Chuang / )
A employee stands in the Microsoft booth during the 2014 Computex exhibition at the TWTC Nangang exhibition hall in Taipei June 3, 2014.
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