Harnessing the Ultrabook™ Experience to Sell More Applications

Ultrabook™ systems are redefining the mobile user experience, introducing a new category of computing devices that is driving dramatic adoption rates worldwide, with an estimated compound annual growth rate of 53 percent through 2017.1 These sleek, powerful machines take advantage of touch, speech, gestures, and sensors. Those capabilities make them interact like an extension of the user, an inflection point that may prove as important as the advent of mobile computing, or even the mouse.

The opportunity for software makers is huge, since like any computing device, the full value of Ultrabook devices can only be realized through software innovation. The market segments for applications that will drive new user experiences are expected to grow dramatically. Intel is helping drive the opportunity for software makers, enabling them to take advantage of the Ultrabook category’s momentum to sell more applications.

This article shows decision makers at software companies in both the business and consumer markets how Ultrabook systems can provide new opportunities to sell more applications. It is part of a series of papers that explore key considerations in taking advantage of the Ultrabook market segment with software:

The Rise of an Extraordinary Opportunity

The introduction of the Ultrabook category is the sort of market-changing event that may happen only once in a generation. As shown in Figure 1, ABI Research has forecast that shipments of these devices will accelerate rapidly in the coming years, all over the world.1 From 20.3 million units in 2012, concentrated in North America, Western Europe, and Asia-Pacific, projections predict more than 170 million units to be shipped worldwide in 2017. Globally, the software industry has taken note, and innovation is underway to create the next generation of user experiences.

Figure 1. Opportunity for software makers created by dramatic growth projections in Ultrabook™ device shipments.1

Software developers now have the freedom to re-imagine what’s possible, taking advantage of new capabilities that go far beyond what has been possible before:

  • Intense performance and responsiveness meet extreme portability. Put the blazing speed of the 3rd gen Intel® Core™ processor to work and keep data fresh, even when the Ultrabook system is asleep.2 Encourage your users to take your software with them to more places, with all-day battery life and form factors less than an inch thick.
  • Natural interactions in an environment built for touch. Interface with humans in brand-new ways when you develop apps for the powerful new Windows* 8 UI, which was built explicitly for touch, and create software to respond to voice commands and gestures.
  • Sensors that deliver industry-redefining experiences. Applications are no longer limited by squeezing user intentions into keystrokes and mouse clicks. Gestures, body motions, and environmental factors can now drive interactions using the wide range of sensors provided by Ultrabook devices, such as the accelerometer, gyrometer, compass, and ambient light sensor.

World-Class Enablement for Software Makers from Intel

The wide-open opportunity for the software industry is made richer by the substantial level of resources Intel has devoted to accelerating development that targets the Ultrabook category. The Intel® Developer Zone Ultrabook Community offers world-class technical resources such as tools, downloads, blogs, forums, and demos that target helping software makers optimize their applications, be early to market, and maximize their market exposure.

Intel can help you during the development stage to ensure that your application delivers compelling usages that highlight platform features provided by the Ultrabook category. Once development is complete, the advantages from working with Intel continue, with marketing opportunities and resources. Both stages are described below.

Development Resources that Help Build a Competitive Advantage

Software makers have a lot to gain from the free-of-charge resources available through the Intel Developer Zone Ultrabook Community. Extend the expertise of your development team to include best practices, tools, and techniques for the Ultrabook category.

Quickly grasping the new opportunities and implementing the skill sets required to take advantage of them helps make applications early to market so they can start building market segment share as soon as possible. A few resources from the community that may prove especially beneficial in driving excitement around your software offerings for Ultrabook devices include the following:

This is a very small sampling to provide an idea of the types of resources available. The Intel Developer Zone is full of opportunities to tailor applications to realize the full opportunity available from user experiences on Ultrabook devices.

Marketing Resources that Extend the Reach of Brilliant Applications

Once you have built brilliant applications for Ultrabook devices (or extended the reach of your existing offerings to the Ultrabook category), Intel continues to stand at your side to enable your success in selling more applications. Every software company interested in the marketing opportunities available from Intel should consider Intel® Software Partner membership.

The Intel Software Partner opportunity addresses software companies’ business needs with a comprehensive approach that extends from business planning, through product development and optimization, to marketing. Software companies can even list their applications in the Intel Developer Zone Software Finder, which enhances visibility for both your applications and your company through a global web presence.

Winning More TAM for Your Windows 8 Applications

Software companies seeking to expand their total addressable market (TAM) stand to gain from enabling their applications for usage models specific to Ultrabook devices, as well as creating applications that explicitly target these devices. For example, enabling an existing application’s user interface for touch can be the basis for an offering that adds the Ultrabook category to the application’s sales targets.

While this initiative might require relatively little development effort or resources, it has the potential to greatly expand sales. The user experiences enabled by offering touch or other functionality inspired by Ultrabook systems in new or existing applications may also differentiate products from the competition, enabling a competitive advantage. The alternative to adding Ultrabook devices to your applications’ TAM is to leave the opportunity open for a competitor to move first.

The New Windows 8 UI and the Windows Store

A substantial contributor to the software opportunity in the Ultrabook category is Microsoft. Microsoft and Intel collaborated closely during the development of Windows 8 to ensure robust co-enablement. Perhaps the most visible aspect of how Windows 8 adds to the Ultrabook experience is the new Windows 8 UI, shown in Figure 2. This native touch environment is an incredible fit for the Ultrabook category, giving software makers an innovative, robust basis for their applications.

Figure 2. The new Windows 8 UI, designed explicitly for touch.

Microsoft facilitates the sale of software built for both the new Windows 8 UI and the traditional desktop UI using its global reach through the Windows Store, an online distribution point that is open to markets worldwide. To get developers up to speed quickly using the Windows Store to increase TAM, Microsoft offers a variety of resources, including the following:

  • The MSDN Windows Store blog tracks evolutionary advances related to the store, specifically for developers. Here, you’ll find guidance, best practices, and news that will help you get the most out of the opportunity.
  • Developer tools, SDKs, and related downloads provide the building blocks for your development environment, from design assets and development tools to an evaluation copy of Windows 8.
  • Learn to build Windows Store apps” walks developers through writing their first app for the store and expanding on those capabilities, as well as providing reference materials for the journey.

A Sound Basis for Targeting the Enterprise

For makers of business applications, the combination of Windows 8 and the Ultrabook category combines the engaging, dynamic experience of touch devices with the enterprise-readiness of serious business machines. Adoption of Ultrabook devices in the enterprise environment requires no compromise in the areas of security and manageability, which can be a necessity when developing to meet corporate standards and regulatory requirements:

  • The Windows enterprise capabilities you expect are fully supported when an Ultrabook joins a network; unlike non-Windows devices, they benefit from the ability to join a domain, management with Group Policy, and other advantages that help ensure a secure operating environment for serious business software.
  • Hardware-based security, including protection in the event of theft or loss from Intel® Anti-Theft Technology,3 high-performance random-number generation for encryption with Intel® Secure Key, a protected launch environment with Intel® Trusted Execution Technology,4 and improved two-factor authentication with Intel® Identity Protection Technology.5

Development Resources that Help Build a Competitive Advantage

Software makers have a lot to gain from the free-of-charge resources available through the Intel Developer Zone Ultrabook Community. Extend the expertise of your development team to include best practices, tools, and techniques for the Ultrabook category.

Quickly grasping the new opportunities and implementing the skill sets required to take advantage of them helps make applications early to market so they can start building market segment share as soon as possible. A few resources from the community that may prove especially beneficial in driving excitement around your software offerings for Ultrabook devices include the following:

Conclusion

The software industry is poised to profit from the industry inflection point represented by the Ultrabook category. Software makers that take advantage of this transition can benefit from the rapid, ongoing adoption of these devices and the new user experiences they offer. To help software companies benefit as rapidly as possible, Intel has set the stage with resources that can help them sell more applications.

Go set the world on fire:

www.intel.com/ultrabook

About the Author

Matt Gillespie is an independent technology and business writer with a specialty in illuminating the real-world value of emerging hardware and software technologies, mostly working for the microprocessor industry. His previous work experience includes hands-on network IT at California Federal Bank, research writing at the University of California, Davis Center for Neuroscience, and equities writing at Morningstar Inc., the Chicago financial publisher. Matt studied physics and sculpture but eventually received a degree in English from the University of Illinois. You can reach him at spanningtree-at-comcast-dot-net.

1 ABI Research, “Netbooks, Smartbooks & Ultrabooks.” September 10, 2012.

2 Intel® Smart Connect Technology periodically wakes the device briefly from sleep or standby mode to keep applications that automatically get information from the Internet up to date during low-power states. Requires a select Intel® processor, Intel® software and BIOS update, Intel® wireless adapter, and Internet connectivity. Solid-state memory or drive equivalent may be required. Depending on system configuration, your results may vary. Contact your system manufacturer for more information.

3 No system can provide absolute security under all conditions. Requires an enabled chipset, BIOS, firmware, and software, and a subscription with a capable service provider. Consult your system manufacturer and service provider for availability and functionality. Intel assumes no liability for lost or stolen data and/or systems or any other damages resulting thereof. For more information, visit www.intel.com/go/anti-theft.

4 Available on Intel® Core™ vPro™ processors. No computer system can provide absolute security under all conditions. Intel® Trusted Execution Technology (Intel® TXT) requires a computer with Intel® Virtualization Technology, an Intel TXT-enabled processor and BIOS, a chipset, Authenticated Code Modules, and an Intel TXT-compatible measured launched environment (MLE). Intel TXT also requires the system to contain a TPM v1.s. For more information, visit www.intel.com/technology/security.

5 Available on Intel Core vPro processors. No system can provide absolute security under all conditions. Requires an Intel® Identity Protection Technology-enabled system, including a 2nd or 3rd generation Intel® Core™ processor, an enabled chipset, firmware, software, and a participating web site. Consult your system manufacturer. Intel assumes no liability for lost or stolen data or systems or any resulting damages. For more information, visit http://ipt.intel.com.

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