Microsoft (MSFT) is gearing up to take on Alphabet Inc.’s (GOOG) Google Chromebook, with reports surfacing that it will roll out a low-cost laptop in May.

According to a report in Venture Beat, the new laptop is expected to do more than its Surface tablet but not have all the bells and whistles of its Surface Book, which is aimed at the corporate market. The laptop, which will run on Windows 10 Cloud instead of the Windows 10 operating system, will be able to support apps that are in the Windows Store and that is all. 

Targeting Education

The aim is to create device that is simple and secure, geared toward the education market — the same strategy Google pursued with the Chromebook. Google had a home run with the Chromebook, which has found its way into schools around the country. (See also, Why Google Chromebooks Are a Hit in Schools.)

Venture Beat noted the device’s rumored name is the CloudBook and that it is expected to launch next month at the company’s education-focused hardware and software event.

At the same time, Google has been busy adding more features to its device. For instance, users can now run Android apps on Chromebooks, and there is far more choice now that convertible and detachable versions of the Chromebook have entered the marketplace.

PC Market Struggles

Microsoft’s move towards a cheap, bare-bones, cloud-based laptop comes at a time when the PC market around the globe is struggling. According to market research firm IDC, worldwide shipments of traditional PCs—desktops, notebooks and workstations—saw a slight uptick of just 0.6% during the first quarter, to 60.3 million units shipped, essentially flat from a year ago. This marks the first time since 2012 shipments actual rose in the first quarter. (See also, Worldwide PC Shipments Struggle in Q1.)

PC shipments in the U.S. were hit particularly hard, with IDC reporting a slight decline compared to last year. Slumping sales of notebook PCs were to blame for the pain in the first quarter, said IDC. The business PC market was strong during the same three months, thanks largely to the growth of Google’s Chromebook shipments. Overall in the U.S., PC shipments during the first quarter came in at 13.3 million units.

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