The fact that the One Laptop Per Child scheme once envisioned a notebook for developing countries that could cost as little as $100 seems if anything under-ambitious in today’s computing industry, where every manufacturer and its dog is showing off super-low-cost portable hardware. Take Acer’s upcoming Windows 10 Aspire One ‘Cloudbook’ device, which when available will cost as little as $169.
Set to be made available in two sizes — 11-inch and 14-inch — the Cloudbook will go on sale in mid-August, following the release of Windows 10 at the end of this month. Understandably, the Cloudbook will come preloaded with the new operating system, but that’s about all we know for now.
Microsoft showed this device off for the first time at its Worldwide Partner Conference, as an example of low-cost hardware running the new OS, suggesting that it is not much of a resource hog. However, what that hardware is, we have no idea, as Microsoft wasn’t particularly forthcoming about it. As WindowsCentral points out though, don’t expect more than a couple of gigabytes of RAM and a non-touch display for that sort of money.
Still, we can assume from the name — and the price — that on-board storage will be limited, but that it will likely be expandable via cloud storage. That will be much the same as Google’s Chromebooks, which use the Chrome OS and augment its storage capacity with remote backup options.
Microsoft is clearly making a big push to remain the dominant OS provider, even on low-cost hardware, in response to the proliferation of Google’s operating system and other ever-present contenders like Linux and Apple’s OS X – although the latter is unlikely to ever compete on a cost-for-cost basis