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Win8 + Haswell + UniBoss = Notebook Revitalization?

|Includes: Uni-Pixel, Inc. (UNXL)

Microsoft and Intel may be a little late to the touch game, but they have both made big, public bets on the technology in an effort to play catch up. Microsoft made touch mandatory with Windows 8 certification. Intel has done the same with its next gen mobile processor, Haswell.

Part of the reason these giants have found religion in touch is that they see it as a means to recapture market share ceded to Apple. iPad's have taken a large chunk of sales right out of INTC/MSFT's pocket. However, Intel sees vulnerability in Apple's line-up as this article attests, and touch is integral to their plan of attack.

What if OEMs could deliver a relatively inexpensive Ultrabook with a detachable touch screen? That touchscreen would essentially be an iPad when it was detached (absent the important iOS , app store, etc.), and a very lightweight, power sipping notebook when attached. If it could do so inexpensively, it would sort of offer the best of both worlds (tablet/notebook). It might turn the tide in this fight with Apple's iPad.

Here's a link to an article that describes Intel's decision to make touch mandatory in Haswell-based Ultrabooks. As the article notes, the incorporation of touch had to overcome some hurdles.

So, why did the company feel the need to make touch a mandatory component of Haswell-running Ultrabooks, given the added cost and power-demands associated with the hardware? His response was that in the company's back-room studies, when they gave testers fifty tasks to complete using Windows 8, nearly 80 percent of the time, they chose touch over keyboard, mouse or trackpad.

It has become clear to the industry that touch is just too important to ignore. Yet, as the article implies, Intel would need an inexpensive, power-conserving touch sensor to make the strategy work.

The point to all of this is that if UniBoss were to make it into this "Wintel" ecosystem, it would be an important component in one of the highest-stakes technology battles around. It would elevate the technology to a place that would have seemed almost unfathomable a few months ago when this was a $50mn market cap company. To get a seat at this table, it's not surprising that the company would need to engage a large manufacturing party in some form of JV. You can see the pieces coming together.

If this scenario is correct, and the ecosystem and manufacturing partners fall into place in the next few months, UniPixel could become a very large enterprise in a relatively short time-frame.

Disclosure: I am long UNXL.