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Computer Technology

Will Cheap Microsoft Notebooks Kill the Chromebooks?

The fight has only just begun in earnest for Microsoft. The folks from Redmond realize Chromebook sales have grown at a brisk pace over the past few years, and sales of Chromebooks are projected to steadily climb in the coming years.

HP StreamSo, now (finally) Microsoft is entering the low-cost notebook arena with its own “around $200” devices. The purpose of these cheap notebooks, the first of which is the HP Stream, is simple: stop the sales of Chromebooks, and maybe even go all the way and completely kill them off.

Over the past couple years Microsoft has been running a rather sophomoric ad campaign against Chromebooks called Scroogled. But now Microsoft has come up with list of  reasons not to buy a Chromebook:

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8 Reasons You Shouldn’t Buy a Chromebook

  1. You can’t run Microsoft Office.
  2. You can’t install Skype, iTunes, Photoshop, or Quicken.
  3. You can’t play PC games.
  4. You can’t just print to any old printer.
  5. You probably can’t use your existing USB peripherals (like your scanner or USB turntable).
  6. There’s no desktop for you to place shortcuts or files on.
  7. You can’t choose where your documents go.
  8. You can’t watch popular movies and TV shows offline.

For the average user, the key benefit of a Microsoft notebook over a Chromebook would probably be its ability to run legacy and certain “Windows only” desktop software.
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Chromebook By looking at reviews of Chromebooks over the past couple years, it is easy to see that Chromebooks are a simple device for home users to  operate and maintain. The same goes for many schools & business settings where Chromebooks provide turnkey solutions for deployment, software installation, management of devices, and maintenance costs.

ZDNet’s recent article is enlightening:  Cheap Windows laptops: One area they can’t compete with Chromebooks. Additionally, just by taking a brief look at the Chrome Web Store you will find many applications to choose from that counter Microsoft’s misleading claims about Chromebook limitations.

Now for Chromebook’s equal time with Microsoft’s 8 Reason list:

8 Reasons You Should Buy a Chromebook

  1. Built in security.
  2. Chrome OS tuned for speed & Chrome OS updates done automatically for you.
  3. Simple web-based management console for Chromebook networks.
  4. Real-time collaboration for teachers and students in school settings.
  5. You can use Chrome Web Store apps for home, school, and business.
  6. You can run use Microsoft’s web-based Office suite.
  7. You can view and edit Microsoft Office documents without having Microsoft Office installed.
  8. You can use various business & finance, music, and photo editing applications.

So what is it that continues to make Chromebooks so popular? Lots of things. Their low price tag certainly comes to mind. But, for the average user Chromebooks are virtually bullet-proof:  they are easy to use, secure, automatically updated over the web, and applications are easy to install  & remove – not a bad bundle.

About Gary Reiner

thinking, reading, and writing about whatever's going on in the world...

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