According to DigiTimes' "sources from the upstream supply chain," Intel has decided to make touchscreens a standard specification for all third generation ultrabooks that are expected to arrive following the release of the Haswell range of processors.
Though Windows 8 certainly benefits from a touch interface, Intel's decision to mandate its inclusion seems unwise given the continuing shortage of touch panels, increasing DRAM prices and Intel's rumored Haswell price hike. These factors, when combined, are expected to increase costs by $70 to $80 per unit.
The unnamed sources further added that despite Intel's 20 percent increase in marketing subsidies and promises to its partners a smooth supply for "key components," they believe that this strategy will greatly shrink ODM profits and not benefit the overall business of Intel's partners.
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I personally prefer a smudge-free screens to the maximum extent possible. Not to mention how much of an ergonomic hazard touch screens on laptops/desktops will likely be unless the devices are convertible tablets.
I appreciate how Intel tries to push the market in new directions but trying to force-feed touch-screens on laptops/ultrabooks simply seems plain wrong. If I wanted a touchable x86, the Surface Pro makes more sense to me: with the Surface, the keyboard is optional while with the Ultrabook, you already have a more ergonomic keyboard+trackpad/trackpoint attached to your touch-screen which makes the touch-screen redundant, unlikely to get much use besides backup/secondary input method.