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New Windows boss Julie Larson-Green imagines a future which sounds absolutely terrible.She thinks that “the vast majority” of PCs are going to have touch screen interfaces.
Windows 8 is clearly designed with touch in mind, and many new Windows 8 PCs have touch screens. Why is touch so important?
It’s a very natural way to interact. If you get a laptop with a touch screen, your brain clicks in and you just start touching what makes it faster for you. You’ll use the mouse and keyboard, but even on the regular desktop you’ll find yourself reaching up doing the things that are faster than moving the mouse and moving the mouse around. It’s not like using the mouse, which is more like puppeteering than direct manipulation.
In the future, are all PCs going to have touch screens?
For cost considerations there might always be some computers without touch, but I believe that the vast majority will. We’re seeing that the computers with touch are the fastest-selling right now. I can’t imagine a computer without touch anymore. Once you’ve experienced it, it’s really hard to go back.
Here’s hoping Larson-Green is wrong.
Tablets and smartphones obviously should have touchscreens.
But desktop PCs and laptops?
A keyboard and mouse work just fine.
Consider the modern laptop’s design.
You can control the entire machine and all the apps on it while leaving your hands in a relatively small space, and moving nothing but your thumbs, fingers, and sometimes bending your wrists.
The mouse is brilliant because the cursor doesn’t move at a 1:1 ratio with your finger. It can move faster or slower.
Meanwhile, desktop screens are getting huge. To interact with it via touch, you’d have to move your arm all over the place all day.
One other reason this sounds horrible is that unlike a tablet or a smartphone screen, a desktop screen is in front of you at a 90 degree angle.
Whereas touching a smartphone or tablet screen feels as natural as using a pad of paper or reading a magazine, touching a desktop screen feels unnatural – like jabbing.
Please let Larson-Green be wrong.
Seriously, who wants to be doing this all day:
When you could just keep doing this: