Hewlett-Packard Co. (HPQ:US) will start selling its first Chromebook laptop, entering the market for low-priced portable computers running an operating system from Google Inc. (GOOG:US) that emphasizes working on the Web.
The HP Pavilion 14 Chromebook has a 14-inch screen, 16- gigabyte solid-state drive and Intel Corp. (INTC:US) processor. It also comes with 100 gigabytes of free storage on the online Google Drive service for two years, which ordinarily costs about $120. The laptop goes on sale today in the U.S., with a starting price of about $330, the company said in a statement.
Chromebooks, also sold by companies such as Samsung Electronics Co. and Acer Inc. (2353), run Google’s Chrome operating system -- software that emphasizes Web browsing, video and Google’s online software for word processing and other tasks. Hewlett-Packard, the world’s largest personal computer maker, will highlight its device’s bigger screen size compared with competing models, said David Conrad, the company’s consumer notebook director.
Hewlett-Packard, based in Palo Alto, California, is grappling with a shrinking market for PCs, which generated 28 percent of its fiscal fourth quarter sales. Executive Vice President Todd Bradley said last month that sales of Windows 8, the latest version of Microsoft Corp.’s flagship operating system, had been disappointing since its Oct. 26 debut.
Hewlett-Packard slipped 1.7 percent to $16.18 at the close in New York, leaving the shares (HPQ:US) down 44 percent over the past year.
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