Microsoft may be hard at work tweaking its Metro style Windows 8 user interface for a public release later this year, but the company is also reportedly pushing ultrabook vendors to bring touch-enabled devices to the market. Although touch hardware is an optional component for ultrabook manufacturers, Digitimes claims that 30 percent of ultrabook models shipped at the end of the year will come "touch-enabled" thanks to Microsoft being "actively involved" in the hardware design process.
The high percentage would explain Microsoft's recent commitment to existing Windows 7 touch hardware and details of its work to improve touch for the upcoming Windows 8 release. There is some strict hardware requirements for Windows 8 touch PCs, including support for a minimum of five touch points and a minimum component set for tablet and convertible PCs — backing up the claims that Microsoft has become more involved in ultrabook designs. We got our hands on an Intel touchscreen ultrabook concept at CeBIT 2012 last month, and if the early hardware is anything to go by then ultrabooks designed for Windows 8 could be the perfect match.