Microsoft is reportedly playing an active role in developing Ultrabooks that will run Windows 8, industry sources have told Digitimes. Microsoft is concerned about a specific design element that they feel needs refining in order to provide the best possible user experience with touch controls.
It's no secret that branded vendors are planning to release touch-capable Windows 8 Ultrabooks later this year. Microsoft is apparently worried that the screens will be too flexible and could shake during use. Touch-enabled Ultrabooks will be available in sliding and folding form factors in addition to traditional clamshells when the OS launches later this year.
The report doesn't specifically make mention of it but we suspect partners are being asked to beef up the hinges that hold the display to the Ultrabook for clamshell models. Microsoft could very well require vendors to use sturdier materials to mount the screen in as well, but these are only things we are speculating right now.
Both Intel and Microsoft feel that touch will be an extremely important aspect of Ultrabooks moving forward. Speaking at a conference late last year, Intel CEO Paul Otellini told those in attendance that the iPad and iPhone have made touch a paradigm and that they have to get the technology to a lower cost, especially as they move towards the launch of Windows 8.
Touch-enabled Ultrabooks with a screen size of 13-inches or larger are expected to represent 30 percent of all Ultrabooks available this holiday buying season.