Intel has already revealed that its next generation Atom platform is coming in time for the holiday season. The new Atom, codenamed Bay Trail, is a SoC solution and is the most powerful Atom to date. Intel promises double the performance of current generation Intel based tablets.
Intel also revealed that the new platform should hit the market this holiday season, with Windows or Android, and can deliver all-day battery life, weekends of standby and all that in sleek 8mm thin designs. We also learned that this 22nm quad core processor should debut between August and October 2013, ready to ship before the holiday season, in Q4 2013. The tablet part is simply called Bay Trail-T but so far we lack any frequencies or concrete performance details.
Intel is having limited success with the current generation of Atom tablets, but it is continuously getting better. The plan is to make two kinds of tablets one with Bay Trail-T and one with Atom Z2760 dual core Clovertrail 32nm inside and more powerful with Bar-Trail T a 22nm quad-core that might end up as fast as 2GHz.
The main competitor for both ARM and Intel in tablet space is the amazing success of Apple’s iPad, which still dominates the market, making it very hard to conquer. Intel on the other hand aims for the first 22nm quad core processor for tablets, at a time when the ARM based competition, including Apple, relies on 28nm manufacturing.
Windows is a better use of a quadcore processor because the OS and some programs are multi threded. That being said I think you'll be surprised how well i3 processors work with simply 2 cores versus the quad core i5 and i7. What I am saying is that for many consumers they won't really get the benefit of quad cores even in a Windows device. However, kids are another story. The games they play are multi threaded in higher end gaming. They may help drive this market because they will understand, appreciate and demand these tablets. And no, they won't be just as happy playing them on a 4.3" smartphone.
Most consumers aren't able to appreciate the differences between anClovertrail+, a quad-core Baytrail or a i3/i5/i7, particularly if they mostly web surf. To win the tablet market Intel first needed to make SoCs competitive with ARM on speed, battery life and price. It appears Clovertrail+ does this. Baytrail does it even better. But once the "good enough" x86 SoC is in place the battle for the consumer becomes the OS and the software ecosystem available to the tablet owner. The software ecosystem(s) bounds the ROI for the buyer. The ability to run Windows, Android, Tizen, Ubuntu Touch, etc is vastly more useful and productive to the buyer than having a device limited to just one OS.
As impressive as the Intel's new Haswell-class processors are, the common distinction that separates all x86 based devices from ARM is its software versatility and consumers don't need to understand technology to appreciate that.
Windows & Android tablets, and much more flexible dual boot Windows-Android tablets with 22nm quad-core Baytrail are game changers. Unlike many tech features consumers don't understand and ignore everyone can appreciate the difference between products that can run Windows or Android apps and those that can't. Intel should prominently place a new "Multi-boot" logo sticker on each device with the feature.