Intel: Windows 8 to drive laptops with touch screens

Intel is betting on the Metro interface in Windows 8 to help drive the production of laptops with touch screens.

The Metro interface in Windows 8 is a unique departure for Microsoft, and garners a strong reaction from those who try it. The interface consisting of colorful tiles is tailor-made for touch operation, and both Microsoft and Intel are expecting lots of tablets to hit the market.

Tablets are not the only focus for Windows 8 according to Intel. The company expects to see laptops appearing in numbers with touch screens to take advantage of the Metro interface. Intel is even recommending its partners consider building them to fully leverage the new Windows 8 user experience.

There is little doubt Intel is trying to build excitement for Windows 8. Its business depends on getting customers excited about the next big thing, after all. The promotion of clamshell laptops with touch screens is intriguing, though, as they have never done that well in the market.

Convertible notebooks have been around for years, with touch screens, and touch hasn't brought much to the party. While rotating screens make the touch screen into a tablet configuration, pure clamshell configurations aren't comfortable to use by touch. Constantly reaching across the keyboard to manipulate the screen directly is tiring over time.

It's too early to tell if Intel/ Microsoft will be successful in convincing buyers to go touch with Ultrabooks. It will bear watching to see if Metro is a selling point good enough to make consumers want to touch their laptops.

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