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Intel's MacBook Air Counter Attack Kick-Starts this Friday

Intel and the entire tech industry have been preparing for the MacBook Air Counter Attack since June 2011. Today, Intel has announced that their official Ultrabook campaign kick starts this Friday. The Intel lead Ultrabook is a copycat styled MacBook Air. By next year, the Ultrabook powered by Intel's next generation processor called "Haswell" will introduce a hybrid notebook-tablet from factor that is bound to help the PC sector gain back some ground on Apple. Our report presents some of Intel's thoughts about their new Ultrabook campaign.  


Intel's Counter Attack Kick Starts on Friday


So why is Intel ramping up Ivy Bridge to be way ahead of schedule and include a new microarchitecture? Because Intel is rushing their new from scratch processor called Haswell for 2013 in an effort to take on ARM and any other wannabe competitor in the mobile space.


Intel Corporation's biggest marketing campaign in nearly a decade kicks off this week with television commercials, online experiences and print ads that the company is hailing as "cinematic and epic."


The multi-faceted global campaign, called "A New Era of Computing," is aimed at marketing the Ultrabook experience in exciting and innovative ways to consumers. Valued at hundreds of millions of dollars, the campaign is the largest marketing spend for the company since launching Intel® Centrino® in 2003.


"῾A New Era of Computing' is going to be very different from what you've seen from Intel in a long time," said Kevin Sellers, vice president, Sales and Marketing Group and director, Advertising and Digital Marketing. "This is not a campaign where we're talking about the microprocessor or Intel the company. Instead, we're giving a cinematic and epic feel to how Intel-inspired Ultrabook systems are ushering in a new era of computing and making everything else seem like ancient history."


Sellers was referring to the initial TV spots set in the American Old West, ancient China and medieval times that humorously position PCs as old-fashioned and Ultrabooks being, as the campaign theme suggests, "a new era of computing." The spots were directed by Daniel Kleinman, a British TV commercial and music video director who also helmed the title sequence for several James Bond movies.


"Desperado" debuts on American television on April 6 after a world premiere through paid promotion on Twitter (a U.S. first, according to the online social networking service). The referenced ad is the one noted in our opening video.


"House of Flying Laptops," highlighting Ultrabooks' extended battery life and a nod to such stylish martial arts films as "House of Flying Daggers" and "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon," begins in an ancient Chinese temple during the Ming Dynasty. Two traditionally dressed women, each wielding a bulky, power-hungry laptop, engage in an epic battle over a single available power outlet. Their attention quickly turns to a modern woman sitting at a nearby table and working on her Ultrabook.


2 House of Flying Laptops

Set inside a medieval European castle and underscoring Ultrabooks' small form factor and high performance, "Round Table" shows a team of less-than-enthused knights subjected to a slide presentation by their king who is using an outmoded computer that can't keep up. Relief comes to the frustrated monarch when a woman suddenly enters the room with a "mystical device" – an Ultrabook.


Each ad ends with a metaphoric twist as the original ancient setting transforms to a modern-day one. A voiceover at the end says, "Suddenly, everything else seems old-fashioned. Ultrabook: Inspired by Intel."


At the end of the day, I think that Intel's MacBook Air Counter Attack will be successful to a certain degree – but let's be honest here: the Ultrabook was really inspired by Apple's MacBook Air – Period.




The important change in strategy to note is that Intel is not just pushing chips to all comers like an arms merchant; Intel has created a new Windows-PC trademarked category called Ultrabook with a major marketing push behind it.

The entire PC industry will ride Intel's Ultrabook coattails, and I agree with Intel that there is significant upside replacement volume at the $700 price point and below, and at higher margins. By integrating a MacBook Air competitor, Intel will help to lift all boats in the PC industry. That's certainly good for investors.

Yes, the MacBook Air is a great device. I've owned one since 2008. It's about time a viable competitor appeared.


Think about it.
It is not about the MacBook Air.
This is Intel's response to the ARM prodessors used in the iPad, and about Windows 8 being written to run ARM processors.
This is Intel defending their turf, that is manufacturing processors.
They are painted into an x86 corner right now.


"Fwah fwah fwah Intel's MacBook Air killer," we've been hearing this for months now and does NOBODY see the glaringly obvious fallacy in this?

Apple is among Intel's major customers, and whatever the competition can buy from Intel, so can Apple. These folks managed to create largely the equivalent of Ultrabook technology a full two years before Intel commoditized it. Does everyone really think that Apple engineers have all just been sitting around on their hands doing nothing since then? No...just as the competition is playing catch-up against last year's model, Apple has access to all this same tech and will be pushing it to the next level. I'm sure these are all nice machines, but they're gonna get leapfrogged in no time at all.

Norbert Pauli

Here is my version. Ultrabook - inspired by APPLE. Copied by INTEL.


In the field of marketing there is a truism: benefits, not features. The common way to express this is "sell the sizzle, not the steak." The Western commercial is the most worthless commercial I've seen since the Bill Gates/Jerry Seinfeld disasters.

Sure, there will be some die-hard Windows users who will replace their aging (<2 years old) computer with an ultrabook, but this "let's copy Apple" mania won't improve their overall sales or bottom line. At best it will cannibalize their own regular laptop sales.

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