Now is the Wintel of Intel’s discontent - Wikimedia - Kean playing Richard III

Netbooks are just so passé nowadays, don’t you think? Every vendor in the world has decided that after the success of the Apple iPad, they’ve just got to have a tablet.

And a whole raft of vendors is pinning its hopes on their little tablets managing to compete with Apple. A raft is singular. And the singularity is Microsoft and its famous Windows thing.

But just a little while ago, Dell was so firmly committed to netbooks, and no doubt its friend Intel and the Atom, that it had quite a range of them to sell.

Sources, however, tell TechEye that a cultural revolution inside Dell Inc changed all that, practically overnight and it was decided that a staggering 75 percent of its netbook models would be scrapped.

The big question is, of course, what kind of tablets people will want to keep taking. Having a Windows 7 based tablet isn’t necessarily the way people will go – it’s pretty clear from MWC in Barcelona this week that Android and ARM are the perfect storm.

And it’s also pretty clear that if Apple is scared of any competitor, it’s Android that’s the antagonist and not any Windows 7 based thing. Microsoft has pushed Windows tablets for years and years now, ultimately based on Fujitsu technology, actually.

No one cares that much about components any more – it seems that Wintel is, finally, reaching the winter of its discontent. Applications and content, and the ability to read your emails and surf the web are what people want.

It will be interesting to see how Intel and Microsoft react to this threat, despite spending countless millions on Atom processors and pushing the small thermal envelope. Microsoft’s devilish deal with Nokia is not necessarily going to square any circle, we think.