Starting Soon, All Windows 8 Ultrabooks Will Have Touch Screen Displays

Intel and Microsoft appear to be on the same page when it comes to touchscreen computing. With the launch of Windows 8 for x86 and Windows RT for ARM architectures, Microsoft made it crystal clear that touch navigation is the preferred method of getting around Windows, and rather than fight it, Intel jumped in Microsoft's corner and told its hardware partners that in order to market a 4th Generation Core processor (Haswell) system as an Ultrabook, it must have a touchscreen.

Barring an unlikely backlash from buyers, what this inevitably means is that all Ultrabooks will soon have touchscreen displays. According to Intel Senior President Kirk Skaugen, some 70 percent of retail Ultrabooks are already there, indicating that they're well "on the way to 100 percent."

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As promising as that sounds for Microsoft and its efforts to promote Windows 8's touch friendly user interface (UI), there's a flip side to the story. Stephen Baker, vice president of industry analysis at the NPD Group, tells CNET that touch Ultrabooks represent a minor share of total Windows PC sales.

What that means is that even though Microsoft and Intel are tag teaming the transition to touch computing, consumers can still vote with their wallets and choose non-touch systems, if that ends up being the preference.