Ultrabooks got off to a slow start -- but thanks to new Intel chips, Windows 8 and creative form factors, 2013 might be the breakout year.
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Ron DeLine, Intel's director of marketing for the Ultrabook program, conceded that some might "denigrate" Ultrabook manufacturers for "trying to do a Swiss Army knife" with their designs. He countered, however, that devices have naturally converged throughout history. The market has offered dedicated GPS devices with appealing technology, he illustrated, but these products have tended not to sell well because "a phone is not just a phone; it's now also a mapping device."
In other words, new form factors -- such as that of the Dell XPS 12, pictured above -- allow devices to double as both laptops and tablets. Why carry lots of stuff when a single item will do the job?
But the benefits stretch beyond simply carrying fewer devices.
Server Market SplitsvilleJust because the server market's in the doldrums doesn't mean innovation has ceased. Far from it -- server technology is enjoying the biggest renaissance since the dawn of x86 systems. But the primary driver is now service providers, not enterprises.