Microsoft to take on Chromebook with $99 Windows tablet, $199 laptop

Google’s Chromebook has fallen on Microsoft’s radar and the Redmond giant plans to tackle these low-price laptops with highly affordable Windows-based devices. The company notes that we can expect to find $199 laptops and $99 tablets arrive in the near future.

Intel’s BayTrail has managed to spawn numerous Windows-based devices at affordable price points. We’ve seen laptops and tablet go official with retail tags as low as ‎$269.99, but Chromebooks have managed to sell for even lower amounts with $199 currently being the cheapest option. What’s more, they’re about to get even more affordable with support for the Cortex A7 being implemented.

Upcoming Windows Laptops

This is indeed a serious problem for Microsoft. The company’s COO, Kevin Turner, announced at the partner conference that attractively priced devices are inbound from HP. The OEM will launch a laptop for $199 by the holiday season along with 7- and 8-inch Windows tablets under its Stream PC lineup. The Verge notes that these devices will bring Microsoft into the low-end market.

Additionally, the company has revealed that various new affordable laptops are in the works. Amongst them are the Asus Aspire ES1 which offers a 15.6-inch display, 500GB storage, 4GB RAM and a 2.16GHz Celeron processor for $249, and an 11.6-inch Toshiba notebook with 32GB SSD storage and a lightweight design.

Toshiba Encore 7

Just last month, Toshiba showcased a sub-$150 7-inch Windows tablet dubbed the Encore 7. This prototype is amongst the very few to offer the latest desktop OS from Microsoft on such a small design. The slate also comes with low-end specs such as a 1024 x 600p display, 1GB of RAM, 16GB of built-in storage and a 1.33GHz quad core Intel Atom Z3735 processor. Check out the video below for more information on the device.

To bring the overall cost down of Windows based devices, Microsoft is providing OEMs with free copies of Windows 8.1, but provided they set Bing as default.