In remarks on an earnings call
a couple of weeks ago, outgoing Intel
CEO Paul Otellini mentioned briefly that Intel would likely be putting out touch-enabled notebooks running for as little as $200. Presumably those devices would be running Windows 8, but now it appears as though Intel may use Android
on those devices.
Intel’s executive vice president and chief product officer Dadi Perlmutter told CNET that those PCs will more likely be based on Android and run on Intel Atom
processors. The reasoning is simple: Android is free. Windows 8 is not. Thus, as Perlmutter also said, reaching that low $200 price point is largely dependent on how far Microsoft
is willing to bend on Windows 8 licensing fees.
Like this ASUS Transformer Pad Infinity, but cheaper?
Assuming Microsoft isn’t willing to acquiesce to Intel’s pricing desires, we’ll still see Windows-based notebooks for very little cash. Otellini previously indicated that notebooks based on Intel’s upcoming Haswell
processors (and/or possibly with Atom chips) could retail for as little as $300-$400, with some ultrabooks dropping in price to $499-$599.
In any case, all of the above portends a shakeup in the PC industry, and it’s a trend that will lead to significantly lower-priced computers.