Intel makes touch WiDi and antivirus mandatory for Ultrabooks

first_imgAs far as most people are concerned, Ultrabooks are just those really thin subnotebooks that fill the shelves at Best Buy right now. In fact, the Ultrabook brand is one that Intel has carefully cultivated over the last two years. Since the first seven released two years ago, Intel has ushered in 140 Ultrabooks, and users have really taken to the brand. Thinner, sleeker laptops with no optical drive and decent battery is pretty much all most people ask for. With Windows 8 upon us, and Intel preparing the next line of processors that will enable even thinner and lighter devices, the company has announced a few extra features that will be required in 2013 to be called an Ultrabook.Ultrabooks being released this year will need to include touch support on their screens, Intel WiDi for streaming content, and antivirus with anti-malware software as standard. Many hardware manufacturers have already accepted these terms, releasing Ultrabook Convertibles that can separate or fold into tablets on command. These take advantage of Intel’s Windows 8 optimized processors and deliver their own vision of a touch enabled laptop-tablet hybrid. Intel already makes it easy to include WiDi in most systems, and with the mandatory requirement there will be no reason for anyone to try and offer a competing video streaming service. This raises a few questions about Samsung’s AllShare service, which has been included in their last two Ultrabook models.Easily the most troubling news is the mandatory inclusion of antivirus and anti-malware software. During their CES announcement, Intel vaguely references a partnership with McAfee that will be announced in the future, with no further explanation regarding what the software requirements would be. One of the big features with Windows 8 was Microsoft taking antivirus into their own hands with Microsoft Security Essentials. Intel is essentially stating that this initiative from Microsoft is not good enough, and third party software is mandatory in everything that is sold with the Ultrabook brand.The success of the brand will likely make it an easy decision for most OEM to offer these features. But with Ultrabooks moving into the all touch world, and OEM’s using other chipsets following suit,there is an opportunity for other hardware, such as Chromebooks, to fill a gap in the market for those who don’t want all these features Intel is insisting Ultrabooks include.Photography by Chris Sewelllast_img

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