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Microsoft tests demand for $199 laptop, biting back at Google Chromebooks

ASUSGoogle’s low-priced Chromebooks are including a brand new wrinkle to a PC market already being undercut by tablets. Microsoft has promised to make it simpler for pc makers to compete with lower-priced Home windows machines. And simply in case there have been any doubts, a promotion launched by Microsoft as we speak exhibits that worth does matter.

Microsoft’s on-line and bodily retail shops are offering the ASUS X200-MA touch-screen laptop for $199 as we speak, for in the future solely. This isn’t a bottom-of-the-line machine. The pocket book, working Home windows 8.1, has an 11.6 inch show and 4GB of reminiscence with a 500 GB onerous drive, promising as much as 5 hours of battery life.

Whether or not or not that is consultant of the low-priced Home windows machines to return, it has turn out to be shortly clear this morning that there’s demand for notebooks at this worth level. As of 6:30 Pacific time, the ASUS is sold out in all three colors on the Microsoft Retailer on-line.

Will we see strains exterior Microsoft’s retail shops as we speak?

Microsoft in February promised that it might “allow our companions to construct decrease value {hardware} for a terrific Home windows expertise at extremely aggressive worth factors.” The corporate is decreasing the value of Home windows 8.1 for pill and pc producers by 70 p.c, to $15, for units that promote for lower than $250, in line with a report by Bloomberg at the time.

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