First of all dear, The Verge, it is *not* a Chromebook Killer, because you need to understand what a Chromebook is before calling a low-end laptop with an OS no one wants as a killer laptop.
Now coming back to the news: HP is supposedly working on a low-cost Windows 8.1 laptop which will be sold for $199. It seems like ‘netbook v2′ strategy of Microsoft to hurt Linux. This time it’s not going to happen as we have a heavyweight like Google and not smaller Canonical.
I don’t see HP’s underpowered Windows machine to create even an atom sized dent in Chromebook market, let alone killing it. Here are some of my reasons:
An OS no one wants
Will it come with an OS which is fast becoming popular among average user as it is easy to use, no learning curver, or will it come with an OS everyone (other than Microsoft fans) hate and which is the reason why Microsoft has lost PC as well as mobile market to Linux via Android?
It’s not maintenance free
Windows 8.1 won’t be an maintenance free always up-to-date operating system which doesn’t involve any user interference to update it. All you need to do is reboot your Chromebook and it will be updated. Let’s get it clear – it is Windows and it’s not grandma proof, unlike Chrome OS it will break and you always need that ‘smart’ kid around the block to fix your computer.
A UI no one likes
Windows 8.x UI is a mess, a huge mess which no one likes. I used to have a Windows machine for film-editing, but now I am Windows free thanks to 8.x UI. It has the worst work-flow ever. So what will people choose? A mess UI or a UI which everyone is familiar with the good old WIMP interface?
Uncertainty over future
There is no confidence in what direction the OS will take as Microsoft itself is clueless about how to approach the post-PC era. On the contrary Google’s Chrome OS has matured and is getting tightly integrated with other Google services which offers a seamless experience irrespective of which device you are working from. We don’t know whether Microsoft will stick to the UI one year from now or slap a new OS – as it is still doing with each release.
It’s just another underpowered laptop
All I can see is ‘return’ of the netbook era where Microsoft pushed the under-powered netbooks which would simply crawl. Microsoft doesn’t have an ecosystem similar to Google, offline desktop applications will crawl, feel suffocated, on low powered devices and we don’t even know whether Microsoft Office will be offered for free or not.
It is a low end laptop powered by some AMD processor with 1366 x 768 pixel display, 2GB of RAM and we don’t know how sluggish the OS will be on these low-end devices when compared with extremely low-fat Chrome OS which is based on Gentoo Linux.
Such a low-powered devices won’t even make a decent Linux machine, unless I want to run a Debian server on it without any graphical need.
So, in a nut shell I don’t see a Chromebook killer device, I do see a dead on arrival devices if someone is too adamant about using the a word which has something to do with death.