Windows 7, new laptop designs to converge

A rip-out-the-carpet PC refresh of both software and hardware is in the offing as Microsoft's latest operating system and new laptop designs converge later this year.

At the Intel Technology Summit in San Francisco on Wednesday, an executive described the imminent mobile future, including a major refresh of Netbook silicon, better-designed "ultrathins," and turbo-powered high-end laptops.

Netbooks may undergo the biggest change. Models that appear after Windows 7 ships in October will see the most significant overhaul internally since the Netbook category debuted back in the spring of 2008. Intel's new "Pine Trail" Atom silicon will collapse most of the core chips onto one piece of silicon, improving the power efficiency and boosting performance.

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