A big wave of new Chromebooks is arriving in the market, and application options for them are rapidly moving along as well. As we've covered before, Chromebooks are spreading out in school systems and among consumers, introducing many users to the benefits of cloud computing. In fact, they have have been one of the bright spots in the hardware market.

Among this week's Chromebook headlines, Acer's new large Chromebook (shown) is getting good reviews, and Microsoft has plans to deliver a $169 portable computer to compete with Chromebooks.

As Forbes notes, Acer recently debuted its Chromebook 15 series which has what it bills as the “industry’s first Chromebook with a 15.6-inch display.” According to the Forbes review:
"This model is fast, loading web pages and videos in the bat of an eye. Netflix movies and live TV streamed without any hesitation...Battery life extended beyond Acer’s eight-hour benchmark."

Indeed, many Chromebooks are now delivering strong performance and outstanding battery life, and Acer's Chromebook 15 models can be had for $300 to $500, depending on configuration. They also come with cloud storage and other incentives.
And, according to a Digitimes Research report and the Techaeris blog, "Microsoft plans to attempt to counter the low cost Chromebook[s] with a low cost notebook of it’s own – a $169 notebook running Windows 10." Microsoft has actually been experimenting with laptops in the $200 range to compete with Chromebooks. And, Microsoft has announced that Skype for Web is expanding to be available globally, as well as bringing support for IM on Chrome OS and Linux.
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--jeremy