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Intel Focusing on Windows 8 Touchscreen Ultrabooks in 2012

On Tuesday during the Intel Capital Global Summit in Huntington Beach, Calif., CEO Paul Otellini said that the company will focus on touch-based ultrabooks running Windows 8 during the next 12 months. But he also acknowledged that the company and its partners will need to get the cost of touch technology under control before any kind of product hits the market.

"To hit the volume price points, we need to span $699 and up, and that's the goal for next year," he said. "To do that, we have to get touch to a lower cost. This is particularly important, as we move to the launch of Windows 8. The iPad and the iPhone have made touch a paradigm."

As reported earlier, products based on Windows 8 will likely not hit the market until August of next year. According to a "leaked" Windows roadmap, Windows 8 is scheduled to go into beta during CES 2012 in January, followed by a Release Candidate build in April. After that, the upcoming OS is expected to see an RTM release in June followed by the final retail version in August.

Otellini told the audience that Microsoft's Windows 8 will officially usher in touch-based versions of its ultrabook form factor next year. "Starting with Windows 8, you have a mainstream operating system incorporating touch," he said. "Our view is that in the ultrabook lines, touch is a pretty critical enabler. When users see that new Windows interface, they're going to want to touch it. If the screen does nothing, you have disappointed [the] consumer."

But as previously mentioned, in order for Intel and its ultrabook partners to have an excited consumer at $699 and $799 price points, they will have to be able to accelerate the reduction in touch cost. "That's the kind of investment we'll make around the Ultrabook Fund," he added.