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July 16, 2014

Paper Beats Rock: Does Chrome Break Windows?


It is not the first time that players in the PC pen haven’t been able to play nice; Microsoft is now taking aim at the bull’s-eye on Google’s back—specifically, the Chromebook.  It’s only July, but holiday shopping banter is already in full swing and Microsoft with its PC partners in tow hope to make it a prosperous holiday season.

Microsoft COO, Kevin Turner announced that their PC partner, HP, will be releasing a $199 Windows-running laptop for the holiday season—The “Stream.”  The details are unclear at this point about HP’s offering but both Acer and Toshiba offer products capable of operations Chromebooks struggles with.

With the battleground heating up, Microsoft has drawn a line in the sand.  To promote the Windows product, Microsoft is choosing to point out what its machines can do that Google’s cannot. Their list of six things the Chromebook cannot do includes: run both native and web apps; run full office; desktop applications; work well offline and with limited bandwidth; driver availability; and print directly to your printer.

Turner also announced $99 seven and eight inch “Stream” alternatives for the holiday season. He stated, “We are going to participate at the low-end.”

Due to the greater affordability of Intel’s Celeron chips and with Windows cutting license costs, Microsoft’s partners are able to offer devices at more reasonable prices and afford them the ability to compete with Google at the low-end of the market. Turner said, “We’ve got a great value proposition against Chromebooks; we are not ceding anymore.”

The big question for Microsoft is whether or not its partners will choose to produce high-quality offerings to avoid the pitfalls of the past — underpowered Netbooks. Competitive pricing and high-powered offerings give Microsoft and its PC partners a legitimate chance to dethrone the Chromebook.

It is definitely July and the fight for holiday shoppers is as hot as the temperature outside. The ease of the Chrome OS may keep the Google boat afloat, but only time will tell which of these two goliaths turn out to be king of the holiday hill.
 

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