Microsoft seems to be taking the ever-increasing threat from Google's Chromebooks seriously if reports of a $200 laptop are anything to go by.
Reports suggest HP’s Stream 14 will be priced under $200 with a 14-inch screen and Windows 8.1. However, the device will be powered by an AMD A4 Micro processor yoked to 2GB of RAM, a 1366×768 screen and 32GB of flash storage.
The first images of the HP Stream 14 were posted by Mobile Geeks and HP seems to have removed the page where the specs were listed till early on August 19.
The key factor here being that all this would make it cheaper than the cheapest Chromebook priced at $299. There will be more expensive versions too with a more powerful processor, 64GB of space or FullHD storage.
In markets like India, the Chromebooks, despite their price points, have not been able to make a huge impact due to the lack of Internet penetration. If devices like the HP Steam 14 use Windows 8.1, it might not need to be connected to the web all the time like a Chromebook. This could be crucial as far as adoption is concerned.
The heartening thing, of course, is that Microsoft and its device partners are working on more affordable devices which will benefit emerging markets like India.
We will keep you posted.