REDMOND, Wash. ( TheStreet) -- Microsoft ( MSFT) and Intel ( INTC) -- Wintel -- are back in the game. Speculation is heating up in the PC market, and this time it's not all about netbooks. If developments go as planned, you can expect a new crop of ultrathin notebooks later this year running on not just the new Microsoft Windows 7 software, but also on new, smaller super-powered Intel chips. Intel is expected to unveil a new line of chips at the Intel Developer Forum starting Sept. 22 in San Francisco. The line, known as Westmere, will include dual-core processors called Core i3, i5 and i7. These are the first Intel chips build on a smaller 32 nanometer level featuring two core processors, four megabytes of cache memory and a graphics processor all in the same thin package. After years of watching PC buyers flee bloated, virus-plagued, Windows- powered machines to buy Apple ( AAPL) Macs or cheaper stripped-down netbooks, the Windows-Intel duo may be poised to strike back. The new chips combine computer and graphics processing in a thinner form and are designed to consume less power, two key improvements for laptop fans. Presumably, the new notebooks will sell for less than $1,000, and sit squarely between the $300 netbooks and the $1,400 Macbooks. The arrival of the new Intel chips coincides with the new Windows 7 system, for a potentially refreshing line up of notebooks for the holidays. The bigger issue however is how well it fits in the consumers' budget.
So while the product cycle may have improved for PCs, the buying cycle still remains in question.