The New York Times raised concerns about the Ultrabook market today. The Ultrabook specification, pioneered by Intel (NASDAQ: INTC), is the PC industry's answer to Apple's MacBook Air. But The New York Times suggests few people are buying the sleek, next-generation Ultrabook notebooks. And The Times suggests you'd be "lucky to even seen an ultrabook in the wild." Hmmm... The VAR Guy has a slightly different opinion of the situation.

Yes, The New York Times shares some important anecdotal information from NPD Group and Gartner, research firms that say current Ultrabook sales are really small and difficult to track. But The New York Times article missed the biggest point of all: Windows 8 -- the article doesn't even mention Microsoft's forthcoming operating system upgrade.

Admittedly, this is an awkward time for the PC market. Microsoft is urging PC makers and resellers to remain focused on Windows 7 sales -- a strategy that seems to be working reasonably well, according to Microsoft's Q3 2012 financial results.

Some PC makers have rolled out Ultrabook designs with Windows 7. The New York Times mentions the HP Envy 14 Spector and HP Folio Ultrabooks. But The Times fails to mention all the other options in the market (Asus Zenbook, Dell XPS 13, Lenovo U300s and plenty more). Heck, even Wikipedia has published a lengthy list of current and future Ultrabooks.

But the really big Ultrabook action will kick in when Windows 8 arrives. The alleged timing is October 2012. At that point, it's safe to expect Ultrabooks with Windows 8 on retail store shelves.
  • Ultrabooks with Windows 8 in time for the holiday rush? Absolutely yes.
  • Ultrabooks with Windows 8 in time for 2013 corporate IT budgets? Absolutely yes.
  • Ultrabooks with Windows 8 in time for the next round of BYOD (bring your own device) purchases? Yup.
There's some chatter in the market -- right now -- about Ultrabooks. But the real noise -- and the big marketing dollars -- will arrive when Ultrabooks are paired with Windows 8.

In the meantime, The VAR Guy is still scratching his head... wondering how The Times failed to mention Microsoft's forthcoming Windows 8 release as part of the broader, longer-term Ultrabook story...