Computex 2012 will be a huge show for the PC industry which needs a win to show the overall tech industry that it can still be innovative in the face of a juggernaut of Apple smartphones and tablets.
Computex for years has been the staple trade show for the global PC market. But with PC growth rates declining over the past few years, the show has started to look a bit like the old, canceled Comdex of years past.
This year is very, very different, as it indicates resurgence in the innovation from the PC ecosystem. Here are the major things you should keep your eye on this year.
Intelís second generation Ultrabooks with Ivy Bridge silicon will be widely pervasive, quite different from the first generation that was limited to a handful of vendors and configurations. Prices will start at around $700 driven in part by Intel investments in industrial design, thermal design, and support for hybrid hard drives.
You will see hundreds of unique designs spanning screen sizes from 11.6- to 15.6-inch diagonal. The big statement here is that the PC is thin, very cool, has great battery life, and is secure and affordable to boot.
Computex will be a Windows 8 and Windows RT coming out party. You will see these operating systems on every major form-factor device on the show floor. You will see it on innovative all-in-ones, notebooks, Ultrabooks, ultrathins, convertibles and tablets.
Unlike Windows 7, Windows 8 offers a touch-first experience while providing a desktop experience through the desktop app. Also a first, Windows 8 supports ARM-based designs from Nvidia, Qualcomm and Texas Instruments.
To raise the ecosystemís confidence on Windows RT, Microsoft needs to let attendees without an NDA touch ARM-based Windows RT devices from Nvidia and Qualcomm. I am hopeful this will actually happen. TI has been surprisingly quiet in this area.
Up until now, it has been an Apple-dominated game for tablets. Microsoft, Intel, Nvidia and Qualcomm will show that this is about to change. Expect to see many Windows 8 and Windows RT-based tablets and convertibles based on x86 and ARM architectures delivering varying levels of experience with sexy industrial design.
Intel will bring Core-based and Atom Clover Trail based designs to the table providing a broad range of price-performance-per watt systems. Nvidia will be bringing its Tegra 3 quad core and exceptional graphics solution to tablets and convertibles in the thinnest and lightest designs.
Unlike Apple and the iPad, these Windows 8 and RT devices can convert and deliver a PC-like experience with a keyboard. The keyboards will either be fixed to swivel to use as a tablet or clamshell, or be removable. Asustek will be leading the crowd in terms of aggressiveness and breadth of offering.
With new usage models, new and sexy form factors, and some of the best silicon Iíve seen in years, I think they will pull this off--and thatís good for all of us. --Patrick Moorhead is president of consulting firm Moor Insights and Strategy
The tablet hype could burn out soon, but I don't think notebook PC demand will come back to historical levels as if they are missed. Many nonPC habits have been generated with tablets, it's going to be hard to break.
Well, IMO this "resurgence" was bound to happen sooner or later. It couldn't take forever for the average joe to realize that tablets are not useful in the same ways that PCs are, and that the giddy excitement over the new toy did not mean the PC was now rendered useless. As the term "post-PC era," trumpeted so often by the press, seemed to imply.
I've seen good things about the desktop version of Win8, believe it or not. Apparently, many of the complaints are not entirely valid. Although it is possible that the "default" settings might be more to the liking of tablet users than desktop or laptop users.
The wearables space is wide open and exploding with opportunity, but that comes with design and sourcing issues, which some believe could be alleviated in part by the strength of the maker community and an open-source approach to this segment.
An engineer who has experienced firsthand the changes that the engineering profession has undergone since the days of Bill Hewlett and David Packard argues that the loss of innovative capacity is the direct result of a vacuum in American business thought leadership.