Some of the potential flops that will be hyped at the International Consumer Electronics Show this year:
— 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.
— 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.
— 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.
— 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.