Microsoft continues to call out Chromebook shortcomings, offers alternatives

Google's Chromebooks may not have the largest market share but that isn't stopping Microsoft from targeting the devices and showing why you should stick with a Windows machine. In a new(ish) webpage on the Microsoft store, Microsoft holds nothing back in calling out Chromebooks.

Microsoft has created a section on its store that matches up Chromebooks against similarly priced laptops liked the Dell Inspiron 15 ($249) and the Acer Aspire E 15 ES1 ($249); its intent is to show that there are more capable machines at the same price point as the devices running Google's OS.

With large banners calling out Chromebooks by name and the fact that Microsoft call the alternative Windows laptops "PCs without limitations" shows their stance on the Google-backed devices. Specifically, they say: "On a Windows PC, you can run Office, iTunes and Photoshop. You can't do that with a Chromebook". 

Sure, it's easy to say that Chromebooks don't really present a threat to Windows machines since they are well entrenched in the consumer and enterprise markets - but at one point, not all that long ago, Android had 0% market share and the same can be said about Chrome. Knowing that Google has the capability to quickly steal market share from entrenched competitors, they are not wasting time in going after these Chromebooks.

Of course, the devices that Microsoft is offering up are low-end and do have that 'netbook' feeling to them. But, one of the machines shown on the site, the 'ASUS Transformer Book T100Ta Gray Signature Edition 2 in 1 PC' (yes, that is the entire product name and it is ridiculously long) does have a 4.25/5 rating on the site. The device does cost $349 but it appears that the majority of users who do buy the device are happy with their purchase.

If you have a Chromebook, let us know in the comments below how well it is working for you.

Source: Microsoft

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If you can view facebook, twitter, reddit, youtube and emails, that would cover a large portion of the average users needs on the internet. It really boils down to what user experience you would prefer (iOS, Android, ChromeOS, Windows x86, Windows RT, etc), and that is purely personal. They can all do those same, simple tasks.

I can almost smell the fear...

And isn't Windows 8 a limitation. It certainly was until I installed Classic shell and disabled all the Metro crap. Then there's malware, viruses, rootkits, having to run AV/Firewall, etc, which Windows is the undisputed king of. If I had the choice I'd go for a Chromebook every time, if only for the peace of mind when doing personal stuff / banking.

With Android apps coming to Chrome OS, I think this could really put Microsoft under pressure. They won't even have the ecosystem advantage then.

Edited by simplezz, Aug 7 2014, 2:07am :

Funny thing is if you enable the Metro mode in Chrome in Windows 8, it's basically Chrome OS within Windows, so you get both worlds in one with Windows.

Another Chromebook thread...and the same old hate from the same old people. How fun.....

All I will say is, Chromebooks is what is making MS help to develop lower priced systems with Windows. And MS must see them as a threat or else they wouldnt be coming up with competitive priced products.

Seriously, the hate is flowing strong here. I'm not a fan of Google, nor am I a fan of people falling victim to the purchase of a Chromebook thinking it's a full blown machine capable of doing whatever they need.

HOWEVER, for the informed buyer looking to just browse the web with a quick AND cheap machine? Chromebook is definitely the answer. For that, I have no hate on Chromebooks. They've worked pretty well in becoming more compatible with the latest printers too.

It's better than spending $1000 on a Mac, just because you hate antivirus software.

Win RT devices have the same advantages + apps + games + Microsoft Office and you don't need to worry about malware at all.

They are cheap too. However, those devices are not going to get the same love that you have for ChromeOS.

lamborghini said,
Win RT devices have the same advantages + apps + games + Microsoft Office and you don't need to worry about malware at all.

They are cheap too. However, those devices are not going to get the same love that you have for ChromeOS.


I like Windows RT better, but they need more laptops with it that clearly advertise it as Windows RT. Lenovo had a slew of Yogas with Windows RT for example, and even working in retail, we lost track of them just because they're so damn similar by design, just different components under the hood.

The ugly part is customers coming back complaining they can't install applications. If they're going to make RT devices, they really need a better advertising campaign.

The other problem though is that I'm unsure whether Microsoft will keep up with Windows RT, or if they'll just dump it altogether in trade for a version of Windows capable across all devices.

Future is unclear.

I picked up a Chromebook last week for £130. For casual browsing, it's absolutely perfect, and probably for 90% of people out there it does everything they need it to do. Being able to simply open it and you're online within seconds. I've got an iMac to do any "proper" work, but simply for browsing the web, or streaming netflix, or simple words docs or Office 365 etc its ideal. And I'm easily getting 8 hours battery life out of it, something my laptops never got close to.

Now that I understand exactly what a Chromebook is there for, I think they're fantastic little machines. It's entry level hardware no doubt, Haswell 2955U, 2GB RAM, 11" TFT screen, 16GB SSD - but for £130 and just how fast it feels day to day it's one of the best experiences I've had for a long time, and at that price it's virtually disposable. A Chromebook will be more than sufficient for the vast majority of people out there today (mainly those who use facebook and twitter - and I think at times people underestimate just how large that userbase is).

I can't wait for the day ChromeOS inevitably joins all Google's other "bright" ideas in the Google Graveyard. R.I.P when the day comes, ChromeOS. The only two Google services I use and like are GMail and Android, but they'll probably also end up there sometime, all Google services seem to...

Microsoft is being really grubby. A lot of people who don't know any better will be better off with a Chromebook and not a cheap windows machine.

derekaw said,
Microsoft is being really grubby. A lot of people who don't know any better will be better off with a Chromebook and not a cheap windows machine.

A lot of people who don't know any better would be better off with a Windows RT device and not a cheap Chromebook.

Still, doesn't stop people burning Windows RT to the ground.

Pretty hypocritical to attack Windows RT for low sales, while ignoring how useful it can be to people... while advocating for Chromebooks being useful to some people, and ignoring their poor sales. They are in very similar positions.

People are actually buying Chromebook's, schools buy Chromebook's. OEM's make and sell Chromebook's, virtually no one buys Windows RT devices. I will be very surprised if MS does not delete the RT product very soon.

derekaw said,
I will be very surprised if MS does not delete the RT product very soon.

Well prepare to be surprised. The RT version of Windows is required as a part of the One Windows vision.

I think for the average consumer that use the their computer for email & searching the net. Also Youtube, Netflix, Spotify etc. A chromebook is great MS do have a lot to worry about. Office not being on the chromebook is not that big of a deal. As the offer online versions. And lets not forget about google docs, spreadsheet are good for your basic office needs.

Precise reason why MS has everything to worry about there are many more people that a Chromebook would be the perfect fit , then there are not , and having a real keyboard and a feel of a notebook has a
Advantage over a tablet. Life would be a lot easier if first time computer users would make a Chromebook there first computer.

ChromeOS is a total joke. When your mobile OS (Android) based on a decade old hacked up VM has more features and apps than a brand new OS, its trouble.

Only reason Chromebooks are popular is the aggressive marketing and Google's 'good guy' image vs the 'Microsoft is bad' mentality amongst sheeple.

Defcon said,
ChromeOS is a total joke. When your mobile OS (Android) based on a decade old hacked up VM has more features and apps than a brand new OS, its trouble.

Only reason Chromebooks are popular is the aggressive marketing and Google's 'good guy' image vs the 'Microsoft is bad' mentality amongst sheeple.

You obviously don't REALLY know what you talking about. I hardly ever see Chromebook ads, but see a ton of Surface or other ads. Not sure how aggressive that is.

farmeunit said,

You obviously don't REALLY know what you talking about. I hardly ever see Chromebook ads, but see a ton of Surface or other ads. Not sure how aggressive that is.


I think he knows what he is talking about. google is being sneaky. they make chromebook UI just like windows 7 to use people's nostalgia missing those over windows 8 UI to make them buy chromebooks over the shelf. what you don't know is that most people don't know the difference between windows and chromebook OS. they go home having a cheap netbook that looks like what they had before but what they don't know is that its just a browser not a real OS.

Schools are rolling out Chromebooks in LARGE numbers. The problem is one we all know. Kids don't really know a damn thing about computers like their parents and grandparents love to dote about. All they really know how to do with Windows machines, is click the install button on Malware laden downloads.

I'm not defending Chromebooks, but was stunned to see my nieces school load up with them.

Chromebooks are great for schools.
Little to no maintenance except hardware.
No imaging needed.
No malware.
No licensing.
Cheap.

There are web apps to do just about anything. If you need a Windows machine, they can use Terminal Services or Citrix. We went Dell Venue Pro 5130 for our student devices because we wanted to be able to run just about anything. But they also costs us $600/ea., and not every school can afford that. Some buy Macs, so it's all about financial viability in most areas. Not to mention, why spend $600 to have them surf the web? If you need a higher powered machine, there are labs.

Except that the enterprise blue collar world still runs on Windows, so you are essentially not really exposing students to what they need to use, and that's Windows right now. Later on? Maybe Android, then maybe they should be using Android tablets instead of Chromebooks.

TBH if you look on eBay there are a lot of new or recently purchased Chromebooks. People buy them as they are cheap no realising what they are buying.
I think the Chromebook is a neat idea but the average Joe that buys them is pretty clueless which is what MS are targeting in the above.

Of course, he only needs it to watch you know what ;) ...

seebaran said,
Got a Chromebook for my bf. Works perfect for his casual needs. MS should be worried indeed.

seebaran said,
Got a Chromebook for my bf. Works perfect for his casual needs. MS should be worried indeed.

considering your boy friend is doing nothing but web browsing, I think you should be worry more about yourself ;)

I don't know anyone who'd even want a Chromebook. And with new PCs/tablets coming this fall priced as low as $99.... Windows will be coming hard.

j2006 said,
I don't know anyone who'd even want a Chromebook. And with new PCs/tablets coming this fall priced as low as $99.... Windows will be coming hard.

I have a chromebook... I havent used it in months. My dell venue 8 pro I use almost every day. Most the Chromebooks I see are used by schools for education, which is really a strong point for them =). In real life, they arent as practical.

Jose_49 said,
You know the sht is serious when MS aids iTunes in an ad.

###### is not serious. Is just an example for dumb people (since they might be itunes users) to understand chromebook is not windows 7 netbook. although they managed to make it look like it.

suprNOVA said,
Did Microsoft kill chromebooks?

pretty much.. unless they can release ones for $150 new.. They can accomplish this by using ARM and having a small battery.

suprNOVA said,
Did Microsoft kill chromebooks?

chromebook will exist as long as dumb people exist. most people buying chromebooks because they think its like windows 7 netbook and cheap. where windows 8 netbooks doesn't look like windows 7 anymore (Live tiles UI)