Google has laid out a reference framework for Chromebooks which means they will cost less than $300 per unit, according to a report from market intelligence firm Digitimes Research.
Dell and Acer will take the lead in cutting prices, with the former introducing a 15.6-inch Chromebook and Acer will introduce a model with the same size screen early next year.
Both are set to use Intel’s Broadwell-U microprocessor and the prices will mean stiff competition as Microsoft wants its hardware partners to produce notebooks costing less than $250.
However, Microsoft cannot hope to get hardware vendors to make Windows 8.1 with Bing machines for the same price point and with similar performance. Although Microsoft has cut licensing fees for Windows in an attempt to beat off competition from Chromebooks, the bill of materials to make notebooks precludes screens 15 inches and above.