Intel to Show Tablets, Ultrabooks Running Windows 8
By Agam Shah
Intel plans to show Microsoft’s upcoming Windows 8 on tablets based on new Atom processors, and on ultrabooks, at both the Intel Developer Forum and Microsoft’s BUILD conference this week, according to a source familiar with Intel’s plans.
Intel will show off Windows 8 ultrabooks and other devices as it drums up developer support for the OS on the x86 platform. Windows 8 will work on tablets and PCs, and Microsoft has extended support for the OS beyond x86 to include the ARM architecture, which is used in most smartphones and tablets.
Microsoft also will hand out Samsung tablets running Windows 8 running on Intel chips at the BUILD conference, the source said. While Intel dominates the PC market, the company has virtually no tablet presence, and it hopes to lure tablet developers away from ARM. Intel will focus on the upcoming Medfield chips for tablets at IDF, and it is also expected to show off devices such as netbooks running on Atom chips.
Intel and ARM are fighting a two-way battle in the mobile device and PC markets. At IDF, Intel will provide further details about ultrabooks, which Intel has described as thin and light PCs with tablet-like features. Intel hopes ultrabooks will rejuvenate interest in PCs, which have been declining in shipments partly because of tablets.
ARM hopes to unseat Intel’s PC dominance by using the common platform of Windows 8 to expand the presence of its architecture from tablets to PCs. Chip makers Nvidia and Texas Instruments will be present at BUILD to drum up support for Windows 8 on their chips, which are based on the ARM architecture. Nvidia and TI have said they will put their ARM-based chips in laptops in an attempt to take PC market share away from Intel. Nvidia has confirmed that Windows 8 will work on its upcoming Tegra chips, code-named Kal El, which are due to ship by the end of this year for tablets and PCs.
Intel declined to comment. IDF will be held in San Francisco from Tuesday through Thursday, while BUILD will take place in Anaheim, California, from Tuesday through Friday.