Trends are a funny thing in technology. Laptops have always been, but netbooks came onto the scene with great fury. Sure they were laptops, but they were called netbooks. One could argue that the Windows laptop and PC market hasn’t recovered since the netbook days. It did appear that Intel and partners weren’t thrilled with the profit margins and the growth and advancements of netbooks became stunted.
Next, Intel made a big push into the ultrabook category. Sure they were laptops, but they were really thin, really light and pretty powerful. Well built with quality in mind. Guess what else ultrabooks had? They had much better profit margins. The only missing part from the perfect plan was the consumer demand. Windows based devices have been in a downward spiral and ultrabooks did nothing to reverse the trend.
In fact, Microsoft and Intel really left a big hole which Google glady took up with their cheap Chromebook laptops. These were essentially netbooks except they ran in the Google ecosystem. The Chromebooks were initially mocked to an extent, but they did create enough of a dent in Windows laptop sales that they needed to address the issue.
So in the past year or so, Microsoft has reduced license fees for certain low end laptops. These Windows laptops hit a nice low price point similar to netbooks of old, and also made a viable option and competitor to the Chromebook laptops. Up until now, these didn’t really have a branding or name. It appears that Intel is about to change this. Are you ready for the arrival of the cloudbook?
Yes folks, Intel still love their ultrabook plan, but at this point they want to do something to prop up the declining Windows and PC market. Will the cloudbook be it? The $169 to $269 Windows laptops in the 11-inch to 14-inch category are not new. These have existed over the past year or more, but they have really been under the radar. Having a clever label, like cloudbook, might help. It can’t hurt. Netbook became a catch phrase and a new category of laptop. Google created a niche product with their Chromebook. Up until now Windows hasn’t really been able to classify or carve out a niche for their lower priced laptops. This could be an effective strategy. However, drawing up a strategy on a board room chalk board proved to be a challenge if we take the ultrabook example. Netbooks were an organic category. It’s hard to say whether cloudbook could be used to make these low end Windows laptops sexy again.