Intel is going for the jugular! They are trying to pull the stool out from under the Tablet Industry by offering $300M to further develop the potential of ultrabook technology. Ultrabooks are light and thin laptops that compete as an alternative to tablets.
Technically, according to Intel’s creation of the term ultrabook, the laptop must be thinner than 20mm, lighter than standard laptops, and less that $1000 in order to qualify for the classification. The company hopes ultrabooks will meld together the performance of laptops and the handy features of tablets, though they are unclear what these special features are, aside from touchscreen. This is where the release ventures into the arena of propaganda.
The money will go toward companies that advance either software or hardware for ultrabooks. They are especially interested in sensor and touch technologies, as well as battery life extension and lower profile components and design.
They will disburse the investment over the next three to four years. Intel hopes to jump start an era of systems innovation for this new and budding classification of devices. Their real aim is to save their asses. The PC market has had shipments dramatically slow in the shadow of the tablet craze and through ultrabooks Intel hopes to spark new interest in PC’s.
Intel, playing a shuffling game, is trying to draw customers away from their Atom and Celeron CPU’s to their more robust chips. The reasoning is that Atom-based netbooks sales dropped in competition with tablets, during the second quarter. This is how crazy people think. One product is losing due to features and cost, so I’ll put in my more expensive one that does not have the features and costs more than my losing product. Are they insane?
Unless ultrabooks can come out with better features than tablets, not just tacking on the laptop experience again as an option to using tablet interface, ultrabooks will be a footnote in the history of computers. $300M is a drop in the bucket compared to what it would take to overhaul laptops to become superior to tablets. This is a losing battle for Intel. The only way to win it is the Apple way – prettier packaging and mass hypnosis.
Intel makes the mistake of promising their ultrabooks will resemble the MacBook Air. You do not refer to your competitor or their product, except to criticize them. Never, never hold them up as an example of what you hope to achieve. Someone at Intel really is off their rocker.
The company promises to release the first models in time for Christmas, but they have already admitted that a much superior Ivy Bridge chipset, with better speed and efficiency will be released early 2012. This is yet another mistake. Who would buy an ultrabook at Christmas without touchscreen functionality, knowing the company is very soon after releasing a far better product with it? They have just killed their Christmas sales.
Intel currently has over $2B in its Intel Capital Investment portfolio. This includes funds that are country-specific – India, China, Turkey, and Brazil. Memorable funds include the Intel Communications Fund and the Intel Digital Home Fund.