Bay Trail or Sudden Death

Microsoft has utterly failed to get hold of a reasonable market share in the tablet business. And their fate is connected to that of Intel. A Windows 8 tablet which delivers enough performance for a demanding user, currently comes with fans.

The OS is not the problem. There are certainly problems with Win 8, but the OS is not the real problem. The CPU is what matters, and later this year Intel will make their newest Atom processor available, «Bay Trail». Four cores, no need for fans, half the power consumption, and double speed, compared to the fastest Atom currently being integrated in tablets.

If this CPU is built into sensible devices and delivers as promised, the dark days of Windows 8 might turn brighter. They may even be bright.  A fully functional, cool and silent Windows 8 tablet with 10 hours of battery life is a true killer.

But—and there is always a but—this miraculous thing will only happen if the OS and third party applications are improved for tablet use, and if the devices include a digitizer pen. The latter point is an important detail, because in that way the Win 8- device will become a more sophisticated one than the iPad, which has no Wacom chip to handle a  digitizer pen. IPad users are stuck with pens that emulate the fingers mechanically…

A snappy device with Win 8.1 which runs an external screen, has USB 3, and handles Photoshop fairly well, is worth some gold. With a high resolution display and a true pen even the desktop mode will be useful. The precision of the pen makes it possible to control more complex interfaces with smaller types than what is currently possible on the iPad.

If Bernaard was a rich man, and if he trusted the noses of Redmond and Intel, he would have made some investments straight away. Many have realized that the usability of tablets is too limited, that tablets are still merely toys. This may change when Bay Trail finally arrives.