Microsoft May Have Overestimated Demand for Touchscreen Laptops



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Windows 8 is hybrid OS that belongs on hybrid devices. The Asus Taichi is a good example. It makes sense because it can convert into a tablet. On a regular laptop, a touchscreen is just a gimmick and not actually practical.



I think there's two problem's with the touch screen PC.

First, the hardware is complete crap. The first thing everybody thinks when they hear touch screen desktop is "well that can't be very comfortable". For a touch screen PC to really work, you can't just slap a capacitive layer on the monitor. You have to rethink the ergonomics of the PC. There's a handful of products heading in the right direction, but they're all still basically concept designs with no polish or have major design flaws:

The second problem is that touch applications are complete crap, or non-existent. I think a standardized touch API for PC (Windows 8) could enable some really cool things. The advantage a PC has over a smartphone and tablet is screen size and hardware power. The way I could see touch taking over the PC (assuming the hardware problem above is solved) is if developers made touch applications that weren't just dumbed down versions of the more powerful mouse and keyboard version, but actually set out to take advantage of touch to produce an application GUI which is more intuitive and natural, while being downright powerful and productive. Because of the limited screen size and hardware limitations of tablets and smartphones, touch apps on those devices have always been limited to simple, big button, linear interfaces. If Microsoft released Windows 8 bundled with incredibly powerful and productive touch applications that blew people away, they could have turned that whole preconceived notion of dumbed down touch applications on it's head. And they could have really made developers and users reevaluate what touch screen computing means for the future of computing. But alas, in classic Microsoft fashion, they took a potentially good idea and just completely fucked it in the ass, giving us even more dumbed down applications than Android smartphones and iPhone. And that just immediately set the tone for every Windows 8 developer and for what users can expect... Uselessness:



duh... but we in the testing group told ms they were making a mistake... they were very rude and said we didnt know what we were talking about... who didnt know what they were talking about?



Touchscreen notebooks make no sense at all. If it's a convertable tablet, like the Lenovo Yoga/ThinkPad X series, then maybe. But for a conventional notebook, why or how would someone interact with the UI by touch without a significant amount of awkwardness and inefficiency?

As far as the desktops (like the HP Touchsmart and the Dell XPS all-in-one) those make no sense at all as well. I really think that Microsoft should realize that Windows is best with its point-and-click mainstay, and the fact that they are super late to the tablet/touch game.



I think part of the problem is that for decades people have been told: "DON'T touch the monitor!" I truly believe many people are having a hard time overcoming this ingrained behavior. Plus, it looks and feels odd when you "poke" your screen.

Not to mention, but a fingerprint-marked monitor looks disgusting. Phones and tablets have hard screens that clean with a wipe. Laptops and monitors...not so much.



I have a touch screen Notebook and guess what? I usually use the mouse and keyboard!


Renegade Knight

Ditto. However touch is handy for navigation. When I remember I have it. I won't get a non touch screen computer when it's time to upgrade though. That said there hasn't been anything worth upgrading too yet.



I think all laptops should have touch screens from here on out as an option.

Being able to touch the screen in tight places like a car back seat makes using it more easy sometimes than the touch pad when the car or bus is bouncing.



"Microsoft MAY Have Overestimated Demand for Touchscreen Laptops" when you know for sure I'll read the post.



I've seen touchscreens referred to elsewhere as "zero button mice". While in some situations this is nice, for most desktop use this slows down productivity. Not having several buttons and other controls available to your touch hand makes doing mundane tasks slower.

I like touchscreens for many things, but PC productivity isn't one of them.


Renegade Knight

Ironicly with big screen digitizers and pens paperless engineering reviews are finally going to be possible. I can annotate a PDF just fine. But I can't really draw a sketch with a mouse to get a point across.



I disagree. I think a touchscreen desktop is all but useless, but I have a touchscreen notebook and love it.... and mine's not even compatible with win8. It's incredibly useful (and even preferable) in many instances, especially web browsing.

I think the problem is that people don't realize how much they would LIKE a touchscreen laptop. THAT'S where MS is going wrong (Communicating with the people... once again). It's a hard sell that they're not promoting correctly.


John Pombrio

There was a survey a few months ago that was pretty damning. The average number of Win8 Start Menu apps run by users was a little over one a day. Get rid of e-mail and it dropped considerably below that.

The other eye opener was how many people WHO OWNED TOUCHSCREENS on laptops and desktops averaged no more Start Menu usage than regular monitors and RARELY TOUCHED THE SCREEN.

A laptop or desktop touchscreen sounds like a winning idea but in practice, very few use it. Kind of sounds like the great big thump that 3D TVs made when the surveys came back of how many folks watched 3D after the initial rush of sales.



"Microsoft's gamble with Windows 8 is that users far and wide want the same touch experience regardless of which device they're using, be it a smartphone, tablet, or notebook PC."

The advantage to having a single UI is that it reduces the learning curve for each type of device, whether you're using touch or a mouse. I doubt many people would prefer touch when they're working on a desktop PC with, say, a 24-inch display.



Touchscreen notebooks and touchscreen desktop monitors are a solution looking for a problem. While it makes sense when you're faced with a product without a viable input method other than the screen like say a cell phone, or maybe a tablet. You know things like that.

But when you already have a method that works why do you want to spend time mucking up your monitor with fingerprints instead? Coming soon from Hipstreet, full sized monitor screen protectors. In sizes from 14" to 40", and it'll only take you six months to get all the bubbles out.
Sign me up.



Thank goodness.

I was starting to think i was the crazy one not wanting a touch screen computer.

Anyone ever tried to use Illustrator or Solidworks on a touchscreen? are you kidding me?

I'll stick to keyboard and mouse, thank you.

the failure of the touch screens are proof positive i'm not the only one who feels this way.

Keep the touch screens on the tablets and phones for the kids, and let's leave the desktops and laptops with normal controls for us people who actually need to get work done on them.



Isn't it amazing how out of touch MS is with PC users lol.



LOL +100000



"That may have been a faulty assumption."

The "we are Microsoft and this is our plan for your future" doesn't seem to have sat well with the majority of desktop users.
I have to admit to having Win 8 loaded on my desktop. However, I also have Classic Shell installed.
While I like the majority of the changes, there are also those that I don't like. And 'metro' was one of them.



Hmm, really? Like Gordon, I'd really want my next laptop (probably an Ultrabook) to be touchscreen, whether or not I'll be using the touch features on Win8. I'm sure there's non-Metro-UI related applications out there that benefit from touchscreens.

Despite what you think about Win8, you can't deny that Win8's really spurred a development of touchscreen devices. I'm glad it's happened, because then we'll get some more functionality out of our PCs (however little.


Bullwinkle J Moose

Maybe they just need to promote it better
get the customers going, with pointed sticks or sumthing

In other news....

LG has cancelled a series of events promoting the handset as a result of the incident.

People arrived with BB guns and knives on sticks for a race to grab smartphone vouchers hanging from helium balloons.

Some of those hurt in Seoul on Friday went to hospital and LG has said it will cover related medical costs.



Or maybe it is because most people would rather not lift their arm 500 times just to do something.

It kinda reminds me of the Wii, its fun at first but than after a little while all you want to do is just sit in your chair and play the game.




I have enough trouble trying not to slouch in front of my computer, let alone touch the screen a couple hundred times per day.