“Intel and its partners are about to launch the biggest promotion of a new product category called Ultrabooks since the company’s Wi-Fi based Centrino launch early last decade,” Tim Bajarin writes for TIME Magazine. “And Microsoft is about to launch a major update to Windows called Windows 8 that introduces the new ‘Metro’ touch user interface. Together they are critical products for the future of each company individually.”
“For mainstream users who have had to lug around their rather bulky laptops for the last five years, they would be justified in asking Intel and the PC vendors ‘What took you so long?’ given that Apple has had their MacBook Air on the market for five years and defined what an Ultrabook should be,” Bajarin writes. “And with Windows 8 and Metro, Microsoft is also following an evolutionary path towards touch UI’s with its Metro based smart phones and soon to be Metro based tablets and PC’s. Again, consumers could ask Microsoft “What took you so long?” since Apple has had their touch UI on the iPhone for five years and on their iPads for two years.”
Bajarin writes, “I believe Intel and Microsoft have a secret weapon in the works that could win them kudos from the marketplace and be a key driver in getting users really interested in both companies again. The secret weapon is a new form factor often referred to as ‘hybrids’… But in the latter case, the design resembles more a slim laptop or Ultrabook-like casing, and the screen can be taken off and used as a tablet. I believe this latter design is the secret weapon that Microsoft and Intel can use against Apple and at least on paper, give Apple a run for its money, especially in business and enterprise. And to a lesser extent, it could be hot in some consumer segments where the keyboard is critical and users want a laptop-centered experience as well. This is where Apple’s current strategy can be challenged… If Apple applies their innovative design knowledge to create a hybrid that blends the iPad and the MacBook Air into a single device, it could have an impact on their ability to dominate this market.”
Read more in the full article – highly recommended – here.
MacDailyNews Take: Would you be interested in a “MacBook Air” that runs OS X, but whose HiDPI Retina display is actually an iOS-powered iPad when detached?
Surely, Apple has for years been thinking about and prototyping devices that explore the various intersections of Macintosh and iOS devices. We can’t wait to see what’s coming!
Microsoft needs Apple’s support if they want Windows 8 tablets to have a chance – March 21, 2012
The Guardian: Microsoft’s Windows 8 is confusing as hell; an appalling user experience – March 5, 2012
The 9 versions of Windows 8 show one of the key differences between Microsoft and Apple – March 2, 2012
Windows 8 tablet vs. Apple iPad running iOS 5: feature by feature (with video) – March 1, 2012
Needham: Apple Mac growth to continue six-year run of outpacing Windows PCs – February 28, 2012
Tim Cook: Apple the only company innovating in personal computers, and have been for some time – February 24, 2012
More good news for Apple: Microsoft previews Windows 8 (with video) – June 1, 2011