Microsoft appears to be gearing up to challenge Google’s Chrome OS by partnering with companies to release affordable Windows-based alternative notebooks. Pictured above is the HP Stream 14, a $200 laptop that feels a lot like Redmond’s answer to the Chromebook. From its 14-inch 1,366 x 768 display, to its modest AMD processor, all the way down to its 2GB of RAM, 32GB of flash memory (optional 32GB) and two years of cloud storage from Microsoft’s OneDrive — sound familiar?

Set to ship with Windows 8.1, this joint effort from Microsoft and HP also features three USB ports (one 2.0 and two 3.0), HDMI-out, a 720p webcam and Beats Audio support. Similar to the company’s colorful offerings with Mountain View’s low-cost notebooks, the HP Stream 14 will reportedly be available in three different hues: silver, green and purple.

With rumors of even cheaper Chromebooks in the works, Microsoft’s resurrection of the netbook appears to be a bold attempt to hold on to the low-end laptop market that Google is starting to pick at.

(via Mobile Geeks)

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