Windows 8 tablets have not exactly fared well in the market share wars so far, with Microsoft Windows tablets holding only 1.6 percent of the North American market, according to the latest Chikita Insights numbers. One of the factors could be price, although that hardly seems to have held the iPad back. If so, HP appears to be aiming for a solution, with the debut of the low end of its HP Stream series of devices, offering Windows 8 tablet power for just $100.
The HP Stream 7, bottom of the range, offers a 1280 x 800 7″ screen, as well as an Intel Atom chip, 32GB of storage, running Windows 8.1. And as well as the usual expansion and connectivity familiar from Android devices, including 802.11b/g/n wifi and Bluetooth® 4.0, micro-B USB and microSD, the device comes bundled with one terabyte of OneDrive cloud storage. And the price is just $100, with its big sister the Stream 8 retailing for $150.
This can hardly be the end of the low cost Windows 8 tablet story, with other manufacturers already chasing HP down towards this price point. Perhaps this is what Microsoft should have been aiming at for a long time in order to drive Windows 8 adoption. As to whether it succeeds, that still remains to be seen, but at least with this kind of form factor and price it may stand more of a chance.