Intel Ultrabooks: Awaiting A Windows 8 Notebook Jumpstart?
PC sales in the second quarter of 2012 were flat, according to the latest Gartner data. And sales of Ultrabooks, which adhere to an Intel (NASDAQ: INTC) design specification, appear to be off to a slow start. But let’s not press the panic button yet. Business-centric Ultrabooks, many of which seek to counter Apple MacBook Air, really didn’t enter the business market until a few weeks ago. And the pairing of Windows 8 with Ultrabooks — from ASUS, Dell, HP, Lenovo, Sony and others — could provide a sales lift later this year.
The VAR Guy has recommended the following guidance before: Channel partners should look for third generation Intel Core vPro processor-based Ultrabooks rather than consumer-oriented Ultrabooks. Earlier this year, some vendors were pitching consumer Ultrabooks into the business market. But that was a potential mistake, especially since the third generation Intel Core vPro family (formerly codenamed Ivy Bridge) have now arrived for Ultrabooks.
That said, industry watchers continue to say the Ultrabook market is off to a slow start. Today’s Wall Street Journal notes that Intel has established a $300 million fund to promote Ultrabooks. Gartner told The Journal that Ultrabooks remain “in the early adopter stage. And IDC said some consumers may be waiting for Windows 8.
The VAR Guy’s spin? We’ll see plenty of Windows 8 Ultrabooks around September 2012… And by the end of the year we’ll get a feel for whether VARs are pushing Ultrabooks into business.