Intel promised ultrabooks that will be touch-enabled by default, chips with all-day battery life and designs that fully utilize Microsoft's Windows 8. These designs will land in the second half of 2013.
The systems sound great---unless you've already bought a Windows 8 laptop, tablet, convertible or one of those other 140 contraptions Intel highlighted in its 2012 recap at CES.
Kirk Skaugen, the VP and GM of Intel's Client Group, said that the company will push lower power core chips now. These Core processors run at 7 watts instead of 10 watts. This move is a hold the fort maneuver that should make the current batch of hardware running Windows 8 more appealing.
The upshot: The current crop of Windows 8 devices will improve beginning in April or May.
However, the better move is to wait for Microsoft to update Windows 8 and Intel to launch its fourth generation Core processors. Skaugen said that $599 touch-based PCs will be the norm by the end of 2013.
"Every single day we're getting more and more mechanical innovation," said Skaugen.
Skaugen also said that Intel's fourth-generation Core processor will be the first developed specifically for ultrabooks. Everything else was a "retrofit" to work with touch.
Let's sum this up. Anyone who bought Windows 8 hardware in recent weeks acquired retrofit devices that feel a bit 1.0 because they are. If you buy in a month or two, you'll get better battery life. If you wait until the holiday season of 2013, Wintel will fully have its act together.
The Intel CES keynote should have led with a slide putting the kibosh on Windows 8 device sales. As noted previously, Windows 8 is likely to be a second half 2013 story.