Google’s Chromebooks have been popular with some consumers because of their cheap prices, which give anyone looking for a web-focused computing experience access to a dependable machine, even though Google’s desktop operating system isn’t exactly on par with Microsoft’s Windows or Apple’s OS X. For many PC buyers, Chromebooks aren’t even an option due to their limitations, but the fact that Google and its partners are selling them for low prices might be one reason to root for Chromebooks even if you don’t want one.
Apparently, Microsoft is keeping a close eye on these cheap Chrome OS computers, and wants to put up a fight with affordable Windows machines of its own. Digitimes has learned from sources familiar with the matter that Microsoft plans to release cheaper laptops to compete against affordable Chromebooks this year.
The company is working on at least two distinct clamshell notebook models, the publication says, both featuring 11.6-inch displays. The devices should start selling at some point in mid-2015, with prices ranging from $149 to $179.
The new affordable Windows devices will pack Intel’s Bay Trail-T CR processor, with one model geared towards education, which also happens to be a target for Google’s Chromebooks. Interestingly, the consumer model will cost $149, while the education version will be priced higher, at $179.
Microsoft might also release bigger affordable laptops in the future in an effort to compete against similarly sized Chromebooks. Google’s line of Chromebooks goes all the way up to 15-inch devices and includes the high-end, expensive, Chromebook Pixel generations.
Considering Microsoft’s interest in bringing Windows 10 to as many devices as possible this year, it’s likely these affordable laptops will also run Microsoft’s newest operating system, though the report doesn’t offer any details regarding operating systems.