H-P (HPQ +0.6%) will offer a quality $199 Windows laptop for the holidays, Microsoft (MSFT +0.3%) COO Kevin Turner promises at his company's partner conference. Turner also says H-P will sell 7" and 8" Windows tablets for $99, and that Toshiba will sell a $249 notebook with an 11.6" screen and 32GB SSD.
"We’ve got a great value proposition against Chromebooks," claims Turner, driving home whom he considers competition. IDC noted last week Chromebooks, which added offline app support last year, contributed to a Q2 rebound in low-end notebook sales.
Turner's remarks come as Digitimes reports Microsoft is planning to end Windows license fees for all sub-$250 tablets. The company has already eliminated fees for all sub-9" mobile devices.
Turner also declares SharePoint to be a $2B/year business, says Office has "rescued" 785 Google Apps customers in the last 18 months, and reports Azure added 42K+ customers in FY14 (ended in June). (live blog)
He claims (citing market share data) Microsoft's Hyper-v is "eating VMware's (VMW +1.8%) lunch" in the server virtualization market. Wells Fargo cited slowing server virtualization growth as a reason for downgrading VMware last week, while asserting "most industry analysts agree that Microsoft has essentially closed the functionality gap with [VMware's] vSphere."
Microsoft and VMware both report on July 22.