Intel's Ultrabook line is doing pretty well for them, but the MacBook Air clone could do better. The launch of Windows 8 creates an exciting opportunity for the brand. The PC is back in the spotlight, and Intel aims to capitalize on that momentum in the coming year.
Netbook News met with the VP of Intel's Architecture Group, Navin Shenoy, before the Ultrabook Symposium started earlier this week. He revealed some interesting things about the Ultrabook brand that might get some people pretty excited including a touch-screen enabled Ultrabook built especially for Windows 8.
The exciting news from Shenoy is that Intel is supporting Windows 8 in a big way. There will be 40 Ultrabooks that support Windows 8 and they will all be releasing in Q4. What's even better is that these Ultrabooks will have touchscreens to fully take advantage of the touch-centric Windows 8 operating system.
Including the 40 Windows 8 machines coming out this year, Shenoy says that there are now 140 Ultrabook designs. Amazingly enough, only 35 of those designs have reached the public so far. With 105 designs not out yet, Intel has a chance to push out more unique designs that appeal to every type of consumer. The launch of Windows 8 will unleash 40 more designs, but I'm interested in seeing what other secrets the Ultrabook line is hiding.
Intel will finally be competitively pricing the Ultrabook. The first wave of Ultrabooks were in the $900 range and that's ridiculous, even by MacBook Air standards. The next wave of Ultrabooks, hitting next month, will mostly be under the very affordable $700 price range.
What may help contribute to that price drop is Intel's next-generation processor, codenamed Haswell. Borrowing from the system-on-a-chip technology that powers smartphones and tablets, Haswell will be the first SoC processor for PCs. If everything goes according to plan, that means a more energy efficient, and hopefully cheaper, Ultrabook is on the horizon.
New Ultrabooks coupled with the launch of Windows 8 has a lot of potential for Intel. They're making a bet and it could pay off handsomely. On the other hand, Windows 8 could be a disaster and the Ultrabook line could take a massive hit for coming out too early on the unproven OS. It will be interesting to watch how the market reacts to Windows 8 and Ultrabooks come October and November.