Tag Archives: Bay Trail

3 Ways Microsoft Can Save Windows 8

By Steve Heller, The Motley Fool

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By now you should’ve heard that PC sales haven’t exactly been booming. In the first quarter, IDC estimated that PC shipments fell 13.9% year over year, marking the worst quarterly decline ever for the PC industry. Between tablets that are cannibalizing the low-end notebook and the lackluster reaction to Microsoft‘s Windows 8, it’s not surprising to hear that the PC has seen better days. Despite Microsoft‘s efforts to expand its reach in mobile, the health of the PC industry remains central to the company’s overall profitability and growth prospects.

With Windows 8, Microsoft attempted to reorient the PC experience to embrace an increasingly mobile and touch-friendly world. However, the sales pace of Windows 8 hasn’t exactly been stellar. Thus far, Windows 8 is shaping up to be one of Microsoft’s biggest flops, surpassing Windows Vista in the process. In other words, Microsoft needs to find a way to reverse the trend and get users to wholeheartedly embrace the modernized Windows experience.

Here’s how Microsoft could prevent Windows 8 from being an epic failure.

Kill Windows RT
Windows RT has been a nightmare since the beginning. It has utterly confused consumers since there are inherent differences between the full version of Windows 8 and Windows RT. For one, Windows RT devices are powered by ARM Holdings designs, which to the consumer means that legacy Windows applications are not compatible. However, devices powered by ARM offer the promise of smaller form factors and improved battery life over Intel -powered designs.

Microsoft has done a poor job relaying these and other subtleties between Windows 8 and Windows RT to consumers. The Verge investigated the topic and found that Microsoft failed to properly educate its employees, which naturally damaged consumer perceptions about the product. As a result of this confusion, Samsung decided not to launch any Windows RT devices in the U.S. and stopped RT sales in Germany. Acer has delayed introducing any Windows RT devices in the U.S. until it had a better sense of how Microsoft Surface RT sales fared. When major OEM partners don’t even want to embrace Windows RT, how can Microsoft really make it a success story?

If only Microsoft would have just stuck with Intel’s x86 architecture the whole time …

Introduce a $200 Windows 8 tablet
Not only would a $200 Windows 8-powered tablet do wonders for Microsoft’s mobile prospects, but it would also probably give Apple and Google a run for their money in the tablet space. Both Apple’s and Google’s tablet experience lack the level of productivity that that would be possible on a Windows 8 tablet powered by Intel’s upcoming Bay Trail processor. With a few added peripherals, such a device could become an impromptu, yet highly capable, PC in a pinch.

Speaking of Bay Trail, the future of the PC also hinges on Intel’s ability to introduce technology that enables a compelling

Source: FULL ARTICLE at DailyFinance

Windows 8 touch laptop prices to hit $200 by the holidays, Intel CEO says

Intel held its first quarter earnings call for 2013 on Tuesday, and the Q&A with analysts afterwards was full of bold declarations about how cheap touch-enabled PCs and other Intel-loaded touchable gadgets were going to get.

Intel executives love to talk about how the next generation of PCs powered by Intel processors is going to be surprisingly cheap. And there’s no better time to throw around price predictions than after a round of dismal reports about the future of the PC.

The most interesting price prediction came from outgoing CEO Paul Otellini who said touch-enabled laptops could get as low as $200 by the holidays.

“If you look at touch-enabled Intel-based notebooks that are ultrathin and light using non-Core processors …Those prices are going to be down to as low as $200, probably,” Otellini said. Otellini’s $200 price prediction followed earlier statements from both Otellini and Chief Financial Officer Stacy Smith claiming Bay Trail-powered devices would get into the $300 range. Bay Trail is Intel’s Atom system-on-a-chip that’s due later this year.

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From: http://www.pcworld.com/article/2035412/windows-8-touch-laptop-prices-to-hit-200-by-the-holidays-intel-ceo-says.html#tk.rss_all

End is in sight for Intel's Atom netbook-specific processors

Intel’s Atom processors designed for netbooks could be on their last leg, with analysts saying that the chip maker could be tweaking its product road map as PC sales tumble and tablet adoption widens.

Intel’s most recent Atom processor targeted at netbooks, code-named Cedar Trail, may not be refreshed to its latest generation, analysts said. Netbooks are being kicked to the curb after a few years of success and Intel may be looking at an upcoming tablet-optimized Atom processor code-named Bay Trail to replace the specialized netbook chips, they said.

The chip maker had previously painted Bay Trail as a processor for tablets. But at the Intel Developer Forum in Beijing this week, the company said it is expanding the chip to sub-US$599 convertibles, laptops and desktops.

Netbooks are low-priced, lightweight laptops designed for basic computing, with screen sizes up to about 12 inches and prices under $350. But as features such as touchscreens come to more laptops, analysts said there is a need for manufacturers to move away from underwhelming netbook chips.

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From: http://www.pcworld.com/article/2033866/end-is-in-sight-for-intels-atom-netbookspecific-processors.html#tk.rss_all

How Tremendous Is Intel's Tablet Opportunity?

By Steve Heller, The Motley Fool

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Intel has been working hard to shrink transistors to the point where its chips become more suitable for mobile computing applications. With tablets being the fastest-growing segment of mobile computing, it’s not surprising to learn that Intel wants to own a large piece of this pie. Not to mention, the tablet market is expected to ship more than 350 million units a year by 2017 — about the size of the PC market today.

Sizing up the market
In order to assess Intel’s addressable market, Apple , Samsung, and Microsoft Windows RT devices must be taken out of the equation since they all utilize processors based on ARM Holdings designs. According to IDC, Apple is expected to command 46% of the tablet market this year, which represents about 88 million devices out of a possible 190.9 million devices. Assuming Samsung is good for another 17 million tablet shipments this year (like it shipped in 2012), Intel is left with about 86 million potential devices before taking into account Microsoft Windows RT tablets. Once Windows RT is factored into the equation, there’s about 82 million tablet devices left for Intel’s addressable market. If we use NVIDIA Tegra’s average selling price range of $20 to $25 as a proxy, this opportunity could currently be worth as much as $1.6 to $2 billion to Intel’s top line.

Public enemy No. 1
The first order of business for Intel is to gain an edge against NVIDIA, which commands about 17% of the tablet market. Considering that the tablet market more closely  mirrors the PC market in terms of user experience, Intel has tremendous potential to win over the hearts of tablet-makers and users alike — especially in the Windows tablet computing space. In other words, Intel has the power to evolve the tablet market into something much more compelling than today’s offerings.

Source: Intel.

Pictured above is Intel’s upcoming Bay Trail processor, which is expected to make a splash this holiday season. This x86-processor will be the world’s first tablet processor that will be based on 22-nanometer designs — a full generation ahead of the ARM competition. It will give tablet makers the capacity to design Windows 8 tablets that can run the full version of Windows 8. I believe that Bay Trail will ultimately pave the way for a $200 Intel-powered Windows 8 tablet in the future, giving Google Android and even Apple’s iOS a run for their money.

A great balancing act
Although Intel has an opportunity to capitalize on new areas of growth, it may come at the expense of the already stagnating PC market. The PC market is currently running the risk of experiencing a prolonged user replacement cycle, stemming from increased user adoption of tablets and smartphones. Additionally, Intel is accustomed to receiving higher average selling prices than what the mobile computing

Source: FULL ARTICLE at DailyFinance

Intel's new 'Bay Trail' chip to bring budget convertible PCs to the market

Intel’s upcoming “Bay Trail” Atom processor is aimed at the low-end market, and promises to deliver convertible PCs and notebooks with all-day battery life at budget prices, the company said on Wednesday.

“We think this is going to significantly expand the volume of Intel architecture-based systems, both for Windows 8 and alternative operating systems,” said Kirk Skaugen, general manager for Intel’s PC client group.

Previously, Intel had said its Bay Trail Atom chip was meant for tablets. Now Intel expects convertible and detachable PCs, along with desktops, will also use the processor, Skaugen said at Intel’s annual IDF event in Beijing. He expects such products to cost under US$599.

The new chip line is Intel’s successor to its previous mobile processor, codenamed “Clover Trail.” The Bay Trail chips, however, use an entirely new microarchitecture meant to bring gains in power efficiency and processing speeds. In addition, the new chips will allow for fan-less designs, and can contain up to four cores. Products built with Bay Trail will launch by the end of this year.

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at PCWorld

Intel Atom chips poised for power, performance boost with Avoton

After years of incremental improvements, Atom chips are poised for a big jump in performance and power efficiency with a new generation of low-processors that have shipped to server makers for testing.

Atom chips are primarily designed for smartphones and tablets, but have also been repurposed for low-power servers. The server variant will be the first Atom chip made using Intel’s 22-nanometer manufacturing process, which is considered the most advanced in the industry.

The Atom chip, code-named Avoton, will become commercially available in servers starting in the second half. Avoton chips will be based on the new Silvermont microarchitecture, which is the first major Atom architecture redesign since the chip was first released in 2008.

Atom chips based on Silvermont for smartphones and tablets will follow the server chip. Tablets will be released during the holiday shopping season later this year with an Atom chip code-named Bay Trail, while a smartphone chip code-named Merrifield could appear in smartphones starting next year.

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at PCWorld

Don't Underestimate the Power of a $200 Windows 8 Tablet

By Steve Heller, The Motley Fool

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Thanks to a recent announcement to reduce tablet screen specifications, Microsoft has effectively green-lighted Windows 8 tablets to be made in the in the 7- to 8-inch form factor. This is a major development for investors since about half of all tablets shipped today are of the 7- to 8-inch variety. Besides the added portability, a smaller-sized tablet is bound to make Windows 8 tablets more price-competitive against the sea of low-cost Google Android tablets.

What Android never was
Until now, Android hasn’t seen much in the way of competition in the low-end tablet segment, allowing it to capture nearly 49% of the market last quarter. Since Android wasn’t originally intended to be a tablet operating system in the first place, affordable Windows 8 tablets could easily be perceived as more productive mobile computing devices that better suit users’ needs.

The icing on the cake
For all intents and purposes, Windows RT is a bridge product until Intel releases a processor that’s better suited for mobile computing. When Chipzilla releases its quad-core Bay Trail processor later this year, not only will it be the world’s first 22-nanometer tablet computing processor on the market, it will allow Microsoft and its OEM partners to offer tablets with the full version of Windows 8- in a 7 to 8-inch form factor. In other words, it’s all but certain that $200-$300 full-blown Windows 8 tablets become a reality. In fact, such a device would likely score very high on the “price versus function” scale against conventional tablet operating systems, potentially mitigating the threat from mobile computing.

Searching for hidden threats
Google Search has largely benefited from increased mobile computing usage, which has inadvertently driven higher volumes of search. If Microsoft and its partners can successfully infiltrate the low-end tablet market, Bing would become poised to steal search queries away from Google Search. With the prospect of a $200 Window 8 tablet now in the mix, it’s entirely possible that Google’s search growth in the mobile realm may not prove to be as robust as it once was.

If consumers were presented with a $200 to $300 tablet that runs the full version of Windows 8, would they opt for it over a similar Android device? I wager Android wouldn’t stand much of a chance.

It’s been a frustrating path for Microsoft investors, who’ve watched the company fail to capitalize on the incredible growth in mobile over the past decade. However, with the release of its own tablet, along with the widely anticipated Windows 8 operating system, the company is looking to make a splash in this booming market. In this brand-new premium report on Microsoft, our analyst explains that while the opportunity is huge, the challenges are many. He’s also providing regular updates as key events occur, so make sure to claim a copy of this report now by clicking here.

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at DailyFinance

Here's What to Expect From Intel in Mobile

By Steve Heller, The Motley Fool

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Intel may have only just begun its big push into smartphone and tablet devices, but it’s already made tremendous progress. In a few short years, Intel’s x86 chip architecture has gone from too power-hungry for mobile to making its way into seven smartphones, which are available in 20 countries. Thanks to Intel’s heavy investments into cutting-edge manufacturing processes, the company is nearing an inflection point where it will pose a greater threat to its mobile archnemesis, ARM Holdings . In the coming years, Intel’s power-hungry reputation is likely to become a thing of the past, and should drive greater overall acceptance for Intel to power more mobile devices.

It’s wide open down there
Currently the world has only reached about 25% smartphone saturation, suggesting that the lower-end smartphone market offers some seriously untapped growth potential. Intel’s Lexington smartphone platform aims to capture share in the value segment of smartphone industry, which is expected to reach an annual shipment rate of 500 million devices by 2015. Smartphones based on the Lexington will be able to support front- and rear-facing cameras, 1,080p video viewing, HSPA+, dual SIM cards, wireless video streaming via Intel’s WiDi technology, and the ability to hyper-thread its 1.2Ghz core. In other words, the Lexington chipset should prove than adequate for the lower-end smartphone market.

Naturally, Intel won’t be stopping here. Its upcoming Merrifield chipset due out later this year offers enhanced power efficiency and performance on a smaller 22-nanometer design. Intel will be the first chip maker with 22-nanometer design for smartphones and tablets, giving it a potentially sizable advantage against Qualcomm‘s  leading-edge 28-nanometer designs. If Intel’s technological advantage on paper can translate into real-world advantages, the entire mobile computing industry has the potential to be disrupted.

8-inch Windows
Although Microsoft Windows 8 sales have been rather bleak, the company recently approved lower-resolution screen specifications for Windows 8 tablets, paving the way for 7- to 8-inch Windows 8 tablets to be developed. Last quarter, one out of every two tablets shipped was a device with a screen size less than 8 inches.

In theory, Microsoft OEMs should be able to bring $200-$300 Windows 8 tablets powered by Intel’s upcoming Bay Trail quad-core processor to the masses. Not only would this development give Google Android some serious competition in the lower-end tablet segment, it would eliminate the need (and confusion) surrounding Windows RT. Additionally, Intel’s Bay Trail processor will be the only 22-nanometer tablet chip on the market — a full generation ahead of the ARM competition. In other words, a competitively priced 7- to 8-inch tablet that’s running the full version of Windows 8 could do wonders for both Intel and Microsoft.

Integration and beyond
Qualcomm’s success in mobile computing can be largely attributed to the innovation it brought by integrating more components onto a single piece of silicon. Intel has taken a page out …read more
Source: FULL ARTICLE at DailyFinance