Ultrabooks are currently limping along on Windows 7, but Windows 8 and "Haswell" should put some spring in their step.
While Windows 8 is obviously a hot topic, less is being said about Haswell, Intel's next chip design that will underwrite the .
That's because Intel hasn't been talking about Haswell, except on the QT in NDA sessions in Asia this week.
Haswell is probably the first mainstream PC-class chip from Intel designed with really thin, small PCs in mind from the get-go. It will also probably pack a mean graphics punch (i.e., bigger performance uptick than usual).
But not a whole lot more is known about the new microarchitecture.
Until Haswell arrives, the first generation of Windows 8 touch-screen ultrabooks from companies like Acer and Lenovo will use Ivy Bridge processors. But the real deal (that is, more affordable touch-screen models) won't land until 2013 with Haswell.
And note that Microsoft won't bring out its Intel-based Windows Pro tablet until the end of January (or thereabouts). Is it waiting for Haswell? Either way, Haswell would make for a solid second-generation Surface Pro tablet.