Intel CEO: Windows 8 touch devices will drop to just $200 this year

By on April 17, 2013, 5:30 PM

Windows 8 tablets and touch-enabled laptops haven’t really taken off the way Microsoft had hoped for after tailoring its operating system for finger input. But Intel CEO Paul Otellini believes things are bound to change later this year when the next generation Atom chip arrives, codenamed Bay Trail, bringing along a new wave of devices with prices as low as $200.

Otellini contended that people are attracted to touch devices but the price points today are still fairly high. He also noted that there’s an adoption curve for Windows 8 and that it “requires a bit of training.”

The platform enabling these new affordable Windows 8 devices will be a true single chip SoC built on Intel’s latest 22-nanometer process with Tri-gate transistor technology. Bay Trail is a complete redesign of the Atom micro-architecture, bringing a quad-core part for the first time, as well as out-of-order execution, and up to three times better graphics performance with support for DirectX 11 and up to 2,560 x 1,600 resolutions.

In terms of processing power they’re also supposed to offer an improvement of 50 to 100 percent over previous generation Atom processors, along with improved security and all-day battery life.

Whether that will be enough to offer a compelling Windows experience remains to be seen, however. As you may recall, there was a time when cheap netbooks were all the rage, but the race to the bottom in terms of pricing also meant tighter profit margins to the point that only Microsoft and Intel were making any money out of them. We all know how that ended. With little room to differentiate themselves and customers’ focus shifting to tablets and smartphones, PC manufacturers began to pull from this market one by one.

With Windows 8 failing to reinvigorate PC sales it seems the focus will be on price once again -- not just for Atom devices, as Core i-equipped ultrabooks are also promised to hit the $600 price point this year. All signs point to a challenging year for PC manufacturers but in the meantime consumers will at least see cheaper price tags.

User Comments: 10

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1 person liked this | cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

OMG, they still have high hopes for Windows 8 cosmetic failure!

I still say they wouldn't have to lower prices, if they simply made Windows 8 look better. I have absolutely no desire to own anything, that resembles the device in the picture above (not even if only during startup).

Guest said:

I agree it almost looks like some kind of 1960 retro look. Kind of reminds me of an Avocado green refrigerator.

ikesmasher said:

It looks like these are x86. and if they are, I will gladly pick one up once I get the money, assuming there ARE in fact $200 devices.

jcarr11 said:

I was going to buy some sort of tablet this summer looks like I am going to wait till this happens now

Mbloof said:

2yrs ago I bought a new car and new laptop. Tell me again why I want/need new ones? I already own a single core Atom powered 2.75lb netbook that lasts all day - why do I need a quad core one?

While there may be some stripped down models available that do cost <$200, I'll bet anything with a "AN" Wifi radio, Bluetooth, SSD and a all day battery will again be priced in the $600-800 range. Might as well forget about finding a model with a transreflective screen.


windmill007 said:

If I could afford a touch enabled windows8 device I might give it a shot and not hate it as bad as

I do on my desktop without start8 installed.

tipstir tipstir, TS Ambassador, said:

Drop that price down even more then I might consider buying one. Not paying more for what will be less in years soon. That's why Android Tablets do better well not the fancy known names.

The ultra laptop just too late in the market flood gates of Tablets which cost less than an ultra laptop. I won't buy one just don't see the point spending so much for one.

Face it we're still in 32-bit where 64-bit gives you a bit extra but can't use that on 32-bit browsers which is more used on a PC today.

EEatGDL said:

But they'll put W8.1 with native start button and login to desktop in order to try to sell more [is not a fact, is sarcasm].

tipstir tipstir, TS Ambassador, said:

But they'll put W8.1 with native start button and login to desktop in order to try to sell more [is not a fact, is sarcasm].

Start button can be install with with 3rd-party software, the issue I have if you don't have touch panel and you got to deal with tiles and the old UI. Flip back and forth. Where as in Windows 7 you don't have to do that.

Guest said:

POS Atom. AMD Needs to get some C-series magic going again.

Microsoft need to unbloat their bloated OS. Windows 7Tiny runs as fast as Linux Mint 14 on my Tablet.

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