Google's Chromebooks have proved to be an attractive option for those seeking a simple, cheap laptop on a budget. Microsoft wants that to change very soon.

During the company's Worldwide Partner Conference on Monday, Microsoft announced that extremely cheap Windows 8.1 notebooks will be coming soon from HP, Acer, and Toshiba.

HP will launch a $199 laptop called the Stream, according to The Verge, while Acer and Toshiba plan to release notebooks starting at $249.

Acer's notebook will come with a 15.6-inch display, while Toshiba's will feature an 11.6-inch screen. We have yet to hear any details about HP's upcoming laptop.

Those prices are extremely cheap compared to current Windows laptops. Most new entry-level notebooks start at around $400, which is why Chromebooks seem appealing for those on a budget.

Chromebooks usually cost between $200-$300, with the exception being Google's high-end $1,200 Chromebook Pixel. The trade-off is that a Chromebook's functionality is severely limited when not connected to the internet.
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--jeremy