In order for Intel to successfully turn consumers onto touch-enabled convertible ultrabooks, Stice says Microsoft will need to chip in and help educate the public on Windows 8. As a touchscreen-compatible OS, Windows 8 bridged the gap between ultrabooks and the touchscreen, Stice says. If users are going to be expected to navigate the devices, they'll need to become familiar with the Windows 8 interface.
"So now that we've seen Windows 8 out, we're starting to see the advertisements and getting the external kind of push into the marketplace. And I think that needs to continue," Stice says. "They have to continue to give an education of what ultrabook is, how different it is, not just the fact that it's thin and light and small, but what else is out there."
For consumer markets, the ultrabook's battery life is one of the features that will need to be emphasized, simply because it's an easy way to portray the devices' advantage over tablets or other notebooks, Stice says.
"People understand it. It's not a technical term. Seven hours is better than six hours. That catches your eye," Stice says. "If [they're] looking at a choice between a media tablet and now they see this new PC that has fairly comparable battery life or better battery life, that will catch their eye."
As for the corporate markets, Stice says ultrabooks have a great opportunity to capitalize on an increasingly mobile workforce. As the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) approach to corporate mobility has become more common, users have realized what form factors are more conducive to their work day. Those who bought an iPad during its early hype, for example, may prefer the ability to convert the tablet into a notebook when it comes time to upgrade, Stice says.
"There are some advantages that an x86 convertible might have, as far as supporting legacy programs, being fully compatible with what they may be using in their cube or on their desktop or whatever the case may be," Stice says. "Not to say that the iPad isn't, but being able to work on a keyboard and do full-fledged content work on a convertible certainly could be attractive to a lot of users."