The Ultrabook. Funny name. Funny idea. The Ultrabook, a thin notebook, is part of what Intel CEO Paul Otellini calls its mission to ‘re-invent the PC’.
“With what has happened in the tablet space, there is a ‘hurry-up’ to the PC industry,” says Intel’s erstwhile marketing supremo, now Chairman of China, Sean Maloney.
But the ‘tablet space’ is becoming the PC industry. Hurrying up PCs may be irrelevant.
When the transistor was invented the then Soviet Union set to miniaturising vacuum tubes to meet the challenge.
Soviet scientists became very good a miniaturising vacuum tubes, but they failed to appreciate that, in effect, transistors were the new vacuum tubes.
So with tablets. Intel thinks thinner notebooks are the new tablets, when consumers think that tablets are the new notebooks.
Between 2009-14, unit shipments of tablets are expected to grow 190%, notebooks to grow 15% and netbooks to fall 17% says IC Insights.
Ultrabook is not a new idea, or even Intel’s idea – the MacBook Air was the original for thin notebooks.