Is this how Microsoft plans to challenge Google's Chromebook?

Why do people buy Chromebooks? Lots of reasons, really, but price is a huge consideration. Chromebooks are rapidly picking up where PCs have fallen behind, but the Windows platform may be mounting a comeback of sorts. A newly discovered $200 HP-made Windows laptop might just be the shot over Google's bow Microsoft has been looking for.

The HP Stream 14, which we've got to say looks an awful lot like HP's 14-inch Chromebook offering, seems to be a handshake deal between Microsoft and HP to bring PCs back. It has a 14-inch screen (which I likely didn't need to tell you, considering the name) at 1366 x 768 resolution, and an AMD processor. The Stream 14 also has a svelte 2GB RAM, and 32GB memory. You also get two years of cloud storage on Microsoft's OneDrive.

Basically, substitute "Microsoft" for "Google", and "PC" for "Chromebook", and you see what's going on, here.

The Stream 14 will also be available in a few different colors (we know, HP Chromebook fans, it's just getting silly now), and sport a 720p webcam. HDMI-out and Beats Audio support round out the major portions of the spec sheet for this one. If you're curious, it is allegedly running Windows 8.1, too.

The real difference, of course, is that Chrome OS and Windows 8.1 aren't exactly interchangeable. Chrome OS is meant to be a very slight overlay, and provide a snappy experience on limited hardware. We've yet to see Windows — any iteration of it, mind you — run well on limited hardware. The Stream 14 could be our first look at Microsoft trying to get their PC market share back, but that's a tough road to climb with Smartphones, Tablets, and Chromebooks in the way.

Source: Mobile Geeks