Intel Says Ultrabooks Will Soon Be 100 Percent Touch, Great News For Microsoft Windows 8

Asus UX301 Ultrabook Gorilla

When Windows 8 was launched last year by Microsoft, there were very few touch PCs in retail for customers to try and buy. Also the sales of non-touch devices lead to poor customer adoption of Windows 8′s modern UI and Windows Store. Microsoft and Intel are now looking to change the situation this holiday season with number of touch based and 2in1 Windows 8 form factors hitting the market. At IDF, Intel executive Kirk Skaugen revealed that 70% of the current Ultrabooks on sale are touch enabled. And Intel is focusing on increasing the number to 100% by making touch screen as a mandatory spec to be a next generation Ultrabook.

Though ultrabooks are still a minor share of total Windows PC sales, there has been a recent jump in the growth of touch laptops, according to Stephen Baker, vice president of industry analysis at the NPD Group. “Touch has been doing much better in August than in any other month,”

The August share increase was due to “a good number of under-$500 Win 8 touch notebooks. I am increasingly optimistic that Touch will drive significant volumes this holiday,” he said. And Intel is pushing touch big time. In January, Intel mandated that fourth-generation Core “Haswell” ultrabooks must have touch.

“Intel added touch to the [ultrabook] spec so, by definition, an ultrabook now must be touch,” .

This is a great news for Microsoft and Windows Store developers as more people will be able trying out their apps via Modern UI.

Source: CNET

About the author  ⁄ pradeep

Pradeep, a Computer Science & Engineering graduate.

  • Ahmed A

    Can’t wait for my S7 to arrrrive :DDD

  • Yuan Taizong

    I personally never got the whole ”Windows 8 = Touch” thing, I mean I understand that Windows 8 is ”Touch-friendlier”, but it’s not ”Mice-&-Keyboards-unfriendlier” as many people have you believe, Desktop icons look just like Android icons ¿does this mean that you can’t use the desktop with a mouse or you can’t use Android with your fingers? I have had Windows 8 since its launch without a touch screen. and I’ve never had a problem with it, but if this will convince more people to buy it, I won’t protest it, I even openly support it, but I still find it non-sensical that people claim Windows 8 is ”impossible” without a touch-screen.

    • Ahmed A

      I have had Win 8 since launch and 8.1 since the Preview was released.. It’s been good on my non-touch laptop but it definitely is even better with touch… MS Store should deliver my Aspire S7 by monday…

    • Krinos

      I think in these situations touch isn’t meant to totally replace the mouse (or keyboard) but rather to complement it, much in the same way as when Windows 3.1 came around the mouse itself complemented traditional keyboard input.

    • Ocelotty1

      I have used Win 8 since the preview (and now have it on all my PC’s) touch or not, it’s still streets ahead of Win 7 in my book. (and I have used PC’s since the Apple II came out (way back in the day))

      Funny thing though; if I use my Surface Pro for a while & switch to a non touch interface I find my hand automatically drifting toward the the non touch screen to complete an action.

  • sri_tech

    Its only a matter of time before all the PC’s moved to touch models. It might not be very useful when using the laptop on desk but it will be easy to touch the screen when its in lap.

    Earlier the problem was high price for the touch models compared to non-touch ones.
    Now you can get touchscreen core i3 models for as low as $400. Why people would choose non-touch PC’s when you can get touch models for almost the same price?

    Most important thing is with the new models like ASUS transformer T100 with keyboard dock, Bay trail processors, full Windows 8, MS Office 2013 for $349.
    For most people this is enough for all the purposes. They don’t need to buy two devices (laptop and tablets).

    If Winsupersite(Paul thurott) is correct with his info, we are going to see full Windows 8 tablets for as low as $249 with Bay trail processors and FULL HD 1080p tablets for $399.

    If Microsoft/Intel/OEMs market the features of Windows 8 and the advantages having all the desktop programs and new metro apps in single device then we will see huge growth in Windows tablet sales.
    Android is not helping these OEMs because it does not offer anything better and nexus line is killing these OEMs. Only chance for them is to go for cheap models that costs less than $200 which will hurt the margins badly.

    I am sure we will see some high end models from the OEMs with FULL HD+ displays, 64 bit Bay trail processors at CES which can actually kill the iPADs if priced and marketed well.

  • Willem Evenhuis

    In my experience touch screens should have been on all tablets and laptops from the start of the windows 8 launch. Although the desktop is more fidgety on a touch screen its far more natural and I’ve noticed eventually that the startscreen with live tiles does demand a touchscreen for a more natural experience. I also advice friends: use windows 7 for a regular laptop, but windows 8 for a device with a touchscreen. It is not worth shelling out extra money for a system that is comparable to windows 7 with a touch UI added. Windows 7 works just fine.
    At home I have a surface pro running windows 8 and a desktop running windows 7.

  • leharmeerak

    I rarely use the touch screen on my vivobook, the form factor is not suitable for touch, you get tired after 10 seconds of use… the trackpad is the only solution for laptops…

    • arrow2010

      Steve Jobs aid it… gorilla arm. PC makers refuse to pay attention and wonder why nobody is buying these Macbook Air knockoffs.

      • symbolset

        Once upon a time I was one of the people who quashed some emerging tech on “gorilla arm” basis in the development phase. I recant here and now. Make it, sell it, and let the people decide.

      • nohone

        Yes, they are knockoffs. Apple owns the exclusive rights to making portable devices that are thinner and lighter that devices from 10 years ago. Apple invented making things thin, light, and smaller, and all these companies are just stealing that idea from Apple. How dare they! Apple should sue immediately, and force companies to add an extra inch to the thickness of their laptops, and they should be forced to weld a 10 lb weight to the bottom of the laptops so they are not copying. Buy stocks in athletic equipment manufacturers now, because they will be selling a lot of weights to Dell, HP, Asus, Lenovo, and the rest.

    • Rico Alexander

      Who says you have to use the touch screen exclusively. That gorilla arm excuse is bs.

    • Rikikrik

      What a load of crap. The touch screen is perfect. The trick is to know when to use the touch screen, the track pad or the mouse. The screen is used when it’s most efficient to use, like one or two touch features. I use the touch screen a lot. The trackpad and mouse are slow when vcompared to the touch screen.

  • jimski27

    I believe Microsofts goal is to move casual users (not power users) away from the desktop and towards the Start Screen, with its ever growing list of apps. That’s where the real benefit of touch kicks in. Ironically the cheap laptops is where touch needs to be focused, not ultrabooks, to reach that demographic. Like the iPad changed the way casual users compute, so will Win 8 Touch. The desktop with mouse/kb support is the bonus.

  • Randall Lewis

    I’ve always thought consumers were much more ready for touch than OEMs (and most tech bloggers) seemed to understand. After the release of Windows 8 last fall I watched more than once as potential customers in Best Buy tried to use touch on Win8 on all in one machines or laptops. They had seen the ads, they knew how it worked, but sadly the clueless OEMs had limited models with touch available. There was one particular scene I recall of a man trying to convince his wife about how cool an all in one computer was. There were about 5 HP all in ones in a row, he went from one to another swiping at the screen and nothing happened. By the time he got to the ONE model with touch on display, his wife had left that part of the store. HP has been making its Touchsmart models for years with its own clumsy UI. Why the heck didn’t they have more of those available for the release on W8? Why were they even making all in ones without touch?
    Microsoft isn’t blameless concerning the slower than desired uptake of W8. OEM’s are far more culpable in their current state. The bar from last year is pretty low, so they surely ought to be able to greatly exceed that pitiful performance this holiday season.

    • Rikikrik

      The timetable of most OEMs is not the same of Microsoft. Microsoft might want to push touch, but OEMs have to work through their inventory, which is a big backlog of old computers. That might take a year before they work through the inventory. In Holland Media Mark, an electronics retailer a lot of touch computers, but BCC, another electronics retailers, still does not sell touch computers. Touch is the future wether OEMs or consumers realize that or not.

  • arrow2010

    Touch-screen is a battery drain and a gimmick in this form-factor. There is a reason Apple hasn’t put a touch-screen on Macs.

    • DigTheNoise

      I use my touchscreen quit a bit, and I won’t buy another laptop that doesn’t have it.

    • Rico Alexander

      They haven’t put one in because they don’t have an OS like win8 that is optimized for touch and desktop usage.

      • leharmeerak

        its not only about the OS, but the Shape of the device which makes your arms very tired after few seconds of usage..

        • Rico Alexander

          Again, you don’t have to use touch exclusively. Certain ui elements are just plain easier to hit on the screen than with a trackpad.

          • leharmeerak

            I suppose you’re talking about the windows 8 store apps, I’ve to admit that I never use them, they just don’t feel integrated into the OS, it feels like you have to choose between one of them and I always prefer the normal desktop mode…

    • nohone

      “There is a reason Apple hasn’t put a touch-screen on Macs.”
      The reason is because they cannot find a way to monetize it. Why put in a Blu-Ray drive when they can use iTunes to make money from the user? The only time they will add touch to Mac is when they create an emulator to run iOS devices on the Mac. When they do that, they will proudly announce the invention of the touch-screen laptop and desktop, where they will be happy to take their cut of every emulated iOS app.
      I bought a touch-screen display for my desktop a couple weeks ago because after nearly a year of using my Surface RT and Pro, I found myself reflexively trying to touch my desktop’s monitor. And after two weeks, I cannot see myself using a non touch-screen display ever again.
      But I know how it is, Apple has not told you that you need a touch screen. Until they do, it is not needed. And once they do ship a laptop/desktop with touch, then all this about gorilla arm, monitors with fingerprints, and all the other claims about how touch are useless will vanish, and we will all be haters for saying Apple is late to the game (again), it is OK because all companies copy from one another (while Apple prepares another lawsuit) and how they did touch right and in a magical way.

  • Oolie zool

    It’s comical to me to come to tech sites and read comments from people that suggest that having touch on a laptop (or any form factor) means that you have to use it exclusively. That’s just not how it works. You don’t use a mouse exclusively, you don’t use a keyboard exclusively and you don’t use touch exclusively. With a touch friendly OS, there are more and more things that just flow better using touch. Going from kb to mouse to screen becomes naturally and it works, but you don’t sit there with your arms raised for 20 minutes at a time, poking at the screen until exhaustion sets in.