International Consumer Electronics Show
Some of the potential flops that will be hyped at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas next week:
1. Windows 8 - Although it's an important new product in 2012, the late-year launch means PC and tablet makers hoping for a CES boost have to wait. Windows 8 has attributes that will be good for tablet computers, but many analysts believe Microsoft has already lost this market to Apple.
2. Ultrabooks - These are essentially Windows versions of the MacBook Air laptop, which are lighter and thinner but also more expensive. Expectations for ultrabooks are modest, however.
3. Smaller, cheaper tablets - Having failed to catch the iPad wave last year with $500 tablets, some tablet makers will try to catch the Kindle Fire wave. But the profit margins are tiny at that price.
4. TV makers will be talking about "smart," Internet-connected sets, but they're not exactly new. We'll see TVs that are "smart" in the sense that they respond to gestures or spoken commands. However, until cable set-top boxes get smart, too, we won't be able to abandon remotes.