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Windows 7 Igniting Touchscreen PC Market 257

Posted by timothy
from the horses-for-courses dept.
ericatcw writes "Apple Inc. may still be coy about whether it plans to launch a touch-screen tablet computer this year, but Windows PC makers are forging right ahead. In the past three weeks, five leading PC makers have announced or been reported to confirm plans to release touch-screen PCs in time for the multi-touch-enabled Windows 7, reports Computerworld. Many appear to be using technology from New Zealand optical touch vendor, NextWindow, which already supplies HP's market-leading TouchSmart line, and Dell's Studio One. NextWindow's CEO says the company is working with partners on 8-10 products set for launch within two months, in time for Windows 7's October 22nd release."
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Windows 7 Igniting Touchscreen PC Market

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  • by im_thatoneguy (819432) on Thursday August 20, 2009 @10:41PM (#29142431)

    I have a Tablet PC. Whenever I pull it out and use it at a coffee shop or park I will inevitably have 2-3 people per hour come up to me and ask what is, "Is it a Mac?" and are always amazed that I payed less than $1k for it and want to know where they can buy it etc etc...

    I use it almost exclusively as a digital sketch pad but it works great as a general browsing computer as well. You can get a pretty good tablet for about $600. The most common reaction from people was that they had no idea such a thing even existed.

    • by Rayonic (462789) on Thursday August 20, 2009 @11:25PM (#29142767) Homepage Journal

      I have a Tablet PC. Whenever I pull it out and use it at a coffee shop or park I will inevitably have 2-3 people per hour come up to me and ask what is, "Is it a Mac?"

      Well duh. Cool things don't exist until Apple releases them.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 21, 2009 @01:47AM (#29143519)

        Score 1 troll? Who marked that? Informative, if anything.

        It's funny because it's true, sadly enough. Reverse the release dates of the Zune and Ipod. OH NO! MS put out a mp3 player first! It's going to suck! OH LOOK! Apple put out a mp3 player as well. They're not MS, so they're better AND cool because they put a superficial "COOL" edge on things.

        Now put them back to their original dates. OH LOOK! Apple put out a mp3 player first! It's gotta be cool! They're such pioneers! And it's called Ipod! It makes me think that *I* matter because it's mine! .... sad.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by SL Baur (19540)

          Now put them back to their original dates.

          It's a pity that this got moderated down to -1. Start date had everything to do with it. The first Macintosh, bad as it was, failed mainly because by the time it got to market the IBM PC had gotten all the market and mind share.[1]

          There were three O/S planned for the IBM PC, PC-DOS, UCSD P-System and CPM/86. PC-DOS was in the market first and the only thing available for the earliest IMB PCs and guess what won market and mind share?

          [1] You can place the blame on that solely on the development manager wh

          • by postbigbang (761081) on Friday August 21, 2009 @08:23AM (#29144995)

            Your sense of history is incorrect.

            When the Mac came out, it had a usable GUI, and after its ill-fated Lisa predecessor. It took a long time before the cult of Apple was rejuvenated. The Avis-#2 effect coupled to reliability is what ultimately allowed Apple to rejuvenate its market. They're not innovators, just like Microsoft is not an innovator. Instead, Microsoft's Windows was made of Swiss Cheese from a security and architectural standpoint. The Mac's GUI and software set became legendary for doing things like page composition and useful media tricks, where Microsoft was in a circle-jerk with its hardware buddies.

            Timing is everything, and so is quality. MS-DOS sucked, as did its predecessors-- all based on a rewrite of DEC's RT11 called CP/M. UCSD p-System sucked worse although a nice learning platform. Even PICK on the original PC SUCKED. That Apple used 6502s, then 68Ks, etc, was a war that they ultimately lost when they switched to Intel processor families.

            Will Microsoft win share with their touch screens? Consider: Apple has a touch screen on iPods and a heavy bank of apps that are all touchable.

            Fujitsu, who by the way has a higher share than HP for Windows=based touchpads, contrary to above posts, has a great screen and design. But its apps that drive these things, and touch isn't practical for many tasks, much as the vendors would like to see you with a stylus in your hands. The growth of touch isn't likely to be huge for this and many other practical reasons. Cool ideas, but ultimately not going to make much difference.

            • by mdwh2 (535323) on Friday August 21, 2009 @09:08AM (#29145313) Journal

              Will Microsoft win share with their touch screens? Consider: Apple has a touch screen on iPods and a heavy bank of apps that are all touchable.

              Indeed, which is why I find it very worrying that everyone seems to be rooting for Apple.

              Consider, what would you prefer the marketplace of mobile computing (phones, handhelds, netbooks etc) to be in ten years' time?

              * A locked down platform from one company that has a hardware and OS monopoly on the market, where applications can only be run with the approval of that company, where many hardware features are disable unless you hack the device, and where the the architecture of the hardware is incompatible with laptops and desktops.

              * Platforms that basically operate with the same openness of PCs today - anyone can make the hardware, which are compatible with each other and PCs by an open standard, where anyone can write or run whatever applications they choose. You can run a variety of OSs on them, including open source ones - and even if it turns out that a certain company has an OS monopoly here too, that might be a shame, but at least they're not stopping you doing anything else.

              And to think that Slashdot was once a place where people supported and promoted open systems.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by tlhIngan (30335)

          Score 1 troll? Who marked that? Informative, if anything.

          It's funny because it's true, sadly enough. Reverse the release dates of the Zune and Ipod. OH NO! MS put out a mp3 player first! It's going to suck! OH LOOK! Apple put out a mp3 player as well. They're not MS, so they're better AND cool because they put a superficial "COOL" edge on things.

          Now put them back to their original dates. OH LOOK! Apple put out a mp3 player first! It's gotta be cool! They're such pioneers! And it's called Ipod! It makes me t

      • by Rayonic (462789) on Friday August 21, 2009 @02:14AM (#29143669) Homepage Journal

        -1 Flamebait? Ouch! I guess Apple fanboys don't have a sense of humor?

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by mdwh2 (535323)

        Indeed, I'm very surprised to see this story at all, normally you won't hear about a new development in technology on Slashdot until Apple does it (especially when it comes to mobile phones). Although I note it still has to start with the irrelevant qualifier "Apple Inc. may still be coy about whether it plans to launch a touch-screen tablet computer this year". So? With any other company, rumours about unreleased products are looked down upon as vaporware, not hyped up and used to advertise the company eve

    • by illumin8 (148082) on Thursday August 20, 2009 @11:46PM (#29142891) Journal

      I use it almost exclusively as a digital sketch pad but it works great as a general browsing computer as well.

      I think I've found the best possible use for a touchpad: A portal to retro RPG Nirvana. [arstechnica.com] Basically, this guy found that running classic RPGs like Baldur's Gate and Planescape: Torment on a touchpad is bliss. You can do it with a finger since all you need to do is tap on the screen to move and interact with the 2d isometric world. Also, there have been some major mods produced recently that allow you to play Infinity Engine games at widescreen resolutions [rockpapershotgun.com]. It's amazing how gorgeous these old games look when you're not viewing them at 640x480. I'm looking forward to playing through Planescape: Torment and enjoying the story in my RPGs again. Also, being able to do it on a train or bus is just awesome.

      • by Jurily (900488)

        Baldur's Gate only uses one mouse button, which makes it easy on a touchpad.

        Btw, how do you right-click with a touch screen?

        • by i.of.the.storm (907783) on Friday August 21, 2009 @01:21AM (#29143425) Homepage
          In Windows at least, if you press down and hold it turns into a right click after a while. Active digitizer pens also have right click buttons.
          • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

            by Sethumme (1313479)
            The current Macbooks have a touchpad interface that supports multi-touch. You can right click on those by pressing and holding with one finger and then tapping with a second finger.
            • Can't you also do it by tapping two fingers? But a multitouch trackpad is a bit different from a single touch touchscreen.
            • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

              by Jurily (900488)

              The current Macbooks have a touchpad interface that supports multi-touch. You can right click on those by pressing and holding with one finger and then tapping with a second finger.

              For a moment there, I thought you want me to tap with my middle finger for right-click.

            • by mdwh2 (535323)

              More than one finger-click? Sounds a bit too complicated. Surely a single method of finger tapping is better, otherwise people will always be asking "Do I tap with my first finger or my second finger?"

    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 20, 2009 @11:56PM (#29142951)

      Tablet PC's were marketed heavily between 2002 and 2006 along with the Tablet edition of XP, but no one wanted them and I understand why. The stylus makes a decent mouse, but you need the keyboard to use a computer for most online activities- which means constantly rotating the screen. The onscreen keyboards are painful to use, and most people are confused by the handwriting recognition and easily irritated with any mistakes it makes and confusion over how to correct them. And worst of all, its uncomfortable to hold most tablet pc's at the angle that allows you to both see the screen in full brightness and use the stylus. People are used to resting their hands on their laptop, and not using them to hold it while they use a stylus.

      I'm not sure if a capacitive touch display on a laptop would be any different. It works on the iPhone because of how small it is. Once you get to laptop size, the touch displays are frustratingly too large to palm in 1 hand, and effort-ful to use in a standard clamshell laptop.

      I think Touchscreen displays will in the future be a secondary display that is mounted closer to the user to allow for easy hand input. Having a single display that is in the correct position for working with a desktop system, which also works as a touch display is difficult to use since it requires you to hold your arm out while you sit. Having a small 11-17 inch display that sits off to the side where your mouse sits would allow easy tap access without a lot of stretching. Ergonomics are what will drive the success or failing for touch interfaces on PC's or Laptops.

      • by wcb4 (75520) on Friday August 21, 2009 @01:00AM (#29143309)

        You have obviously never used Vista's handwriting recognition. XP Tablet's was passable only with training. Vista's is in no way confusing and is much, much better out of the box, and if you bother to spend the 1/2 to train it to YOUR handwriting, it is fantastic.

        I have used my tablet for drawing, taking notes (its much nicer to pay attention to people in a meeting and just write your notes than to hide your face behind a laptop screen and click while others are talking. They have their place, I personally find that meetings happen to be perfect for tablet PCs

        • I find that meetings are perfect for tablet PCs.
           
          I believe it should be the other way around, i.e. tablet PCs are perfect for meetings, unless you happen to be either a) a PHB browsing slashdot, or b) playing buzzword bingo at the meeting and hoping nobody notices.

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by mgblst (80109)

          Come on, you expect us to believe that there is one part of Vista that they got right?

        • True, and worth mentioning that Win7's handwriting recognition is better than Vista's. It can literally figure out things that I wrote without looking, and that I would have a very difficult time reading if I just looked at it unaided (my handwriting sucks to begin with, but I can usually read my own writing at least).

          For classes, and probably for business meetings, OneNote is close to being a killer app for tablets. I'd like to see what they do to it in Office 2010 - the current version is good but could use a bit of work in some places - but I have tons of notes on it already, with hand-drawn diagrams, highlighting, snippets from other programs pasted in, and tons of handwritten annotations (the notes themselves are mostly handwritten too, but occasionally typed). The search feature can index the handwriting and find the stuff I'm looking for, which compared to traditional notebooks is a HUGE boon.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by PingPongBoy (303994)

          On my Vista tablet I never trained it, and it does recognize words quite well. I hardly ever need to rewrite. I have never gotten it to recognize fuck though, no matter how well I write. It always thinks it is something else like flock or flick or fluke or something starting with f. It did recognize shit once!

          My tablet is an HP Touchsmart so I can touch as well as use the pen. I can write with my finger, but most of the time I don't use the touch because the precision of the pen is much better. The screen i

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Why not buy yourself some pencils and a drawing pad instead, and help keep the forests in employment.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Korin43 (881732)

      The most common reaction from people was that they had no idea such a thing even existed.

      I know what you mean. I just recently bought a new computer from HP and found out right after it arrived that I could've got an identical computer with a touchscreen for $50 more :( I assumed they were expensive..

  • by BadAnalogyGuy (945258) <BadAnalogyGuy@gmail.com> on Thursday August 20, 2009 @10:42PM (#29142433)

    The real key to the whole touchscreen interface is multitouch and dynamic dragging.

    iPhone really took off because it offered an interface that few had ever experienced. The interface is natural, easy to master, and effective. All truly revolutionary technologies have these aspects.

    Second, if touch is natural, then wanting to move things around the screen is too. There should be support for this built into the OS. Unfortunately, it is limited to only a few specialized programs (photo viewers, for example) at this time. Full OS support would allow me to do things like move the stupid +- bar that separates the story from the comments link here up to the title area and turn it into a couple of buttons. But neither the engineers at Microsoft nor the engineers who build OSS software interfaces have the first clue as to how to design for usability, so I hold very little hope.

    • I wouldn't touch it with a 10ft multi-touch pole!
    • by mdwh2 (535323)

      iPhone really took off

      The sales figures suggest otherwise. It's selling okay, but there are far more popular phone companies.

      interface is natural, easy to master, and effective. All truly revolutionary technologies have these aspects.

      Give me five examples of a workflow that is easier on the Iphone's UI, compared with all other phones on the market? No wait - give me one? It's an honest question, but everytime I ask this simple question, I don't get an answer, other than people retreating into claims that i

  • Wash your damn hands after you go to the bathroom, picking your nose or dealing with some body fluid.

  • by dangitman (862676) on Thursday August 20, 2009 @10:50PM (#29142505)

    I guess when they say "touch" they mean models that can use a finger instead of a stylus. Tablet computers have been with us for some time now, but nobody seems particularly interested, other than delivery services taking signatures, and those are more like a PDA than a computer.

    But the real WTF is the title "Windows 7 Igniting Touchscreen PC Market." Seriously? That's 100% marketing speak. How is Windows 7 "igniting" this market, when there are no actual units being sold, and thus no idea if it will actually "catch fire" or not?

    • by e2d2 (115622)

      Most likely it means multi-touch, which some people mistake for "touch screen support". Windows has had touch screen support for quite a while because like you said, it's treated just like a peripheral. This will be nice for those using large public displays that need multi-touch support.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by dangitman (862676)

        This will be nice for those using large public displays that need multi-touch support.

        I doubt that the products mentioned in this story are "large public displays." They are talking about tablet sized Personal Computers.

        I'm not really seeing the big deal about multitouch in a tablet-sized (i.e 8-12") computer. Multitouch is great for devices like PDAs and phones with small screens, where you don't do much in the way of complex input aside from texting or selecting items. But for a full PC-like OS, it doesn't seem that useful. For a tablet machine, I'd want it to be more stylus-based, with pr

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Myopic (18616)

          I understand where you are coming from, but I can tell you haven't used multitouch on a desktop computer. I own one of the famed Fingerworks keyboards, and take my word for it, multitouch is incredibly useful and natural in a desktop environment. I know you can't really imagine why, but tapping your first and third fingers is a more natural gesture for "copy" than pressing Ctrl-C; sliding all four fingers to the right is a more natural gesture than Ctrl-RightArrow. Seriously, I really know why it's hard to

          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by Anonymous Coward

            Beyond gestures, I can foresee some existing applications being tailored for multitouch.

            Take Propellerhead's Reason as the most glaring example. Wouldn't it be nice if a mixer interface allowed you to use multiple fingers to slide faders up and down? What about manipulating the "realistic" dials by pinching with your index and thumb, and turning them like you would on a real rack? What about pinching cables on the rear interface and moving and releasing them on the appropriate plugs?

            Can't wait for the sa

            • Being able to tweak multiple parameters on a softsynth simultaneously would be fantastic. Currently, you need to assign knobs on a real-life control surface over MIDI. Being able to just reach up to the screen and 'grab' a knob would bring you closer to the sound design process.

    • by gandhi_2 (1108023)
      Well... this depends on the burn rate of the tablet market. If windows 7 burns tablets faster than sound could travel thru the same tablets (imagine they are lined up, end to end), then windows 7 would be detonating the tablet market. The hip kids would say the tablet market is "blowing up". If windows 7 burns slower than that, then it merely "deflegrates" the tablet market. This market can still "blow up", but only if packaged as a pipe bomb.
    • But the real WTF is the title "Windows 7 Igniting Touchscreen PC Market." Seriously? That's 100% marketing speak. How is Windows 7 "igniting" this market, when there are no actual units being sold, and thus no idea if it will actually "catch fire" or not?

      What it means is that the software used to interpret screen touches is so CPU intensive that it will melt your computer. Combine it with a bad lithium battery and you'll pretty soon see why these things can be described as igniting the market.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      I guess when they say "touch" they mean models that can use a finger instead of a stylus. Tablet computers have been with us for some time now, but nobody seems particularly interested, other than delivery services taking signatures, and those are more like a PDA than a computer.

      Well, yeah, because for most functions what a touchscreen basically does is turn your 1600x1200 screen effectively into an 120x80 screen. The utility in doing that is most certainly real, but very limited.

    • No no no - you have got it all wrong - this has **nothing** to do with 'marketing'

      Consider this: you are on /., where it's "news for nerds". Marketing is not for nerds and so there must be a technical element to the article.

      Now, as per /. protocol, I DNRTFA, so I can only extrapolate from the headline that "Windows 7 Igniting Touchscreen PC Market" means that touchscreen PCs are using Sony Li-ion batteries and that somehow the Windows 7 power management code is causing them to spontaneously combust.

  • So now people will have to put greasy fingers on the screen to do anything ? is the same junk as multitouch , they might seem cool, but they aint productive. I want to keep my hands on the keyboard for typing not having to move them down for a a trackpad, for the touch screen, riight, aint any keyboard there at all in tablet mode anyway.
    • by symbolic (11752)

      It's really just a matter of deciding which surface is going to have all of the boogers on it. Is a booger on a touch surface all that much worse that a booger stuck to a key?

    • by rsborg (111459)

      So now people will have to put greasy fingers on the screen to do anything ?

      Oleophobic coating [gizmodo.com] to the rescue... maybe this is one of the advances that will propel adoption of touchscreens? I remember using touchscreens back in 1994, and the tech was old back then too. Oiling up your screen is one of the reasons I think they never really caught on.

  • I have a serious question - does anyone else really dislike people's greasy fingers on a screen? I understand multi-touch when it's a public display, for instance a kiosk. But on my monitors, DO NOT TOUCH is the rule.

    • Exactly my thoughts. On a tablet I understand touch. By I can't imagine really wanting to replace my keyboard and mouse with a touchscreen on my desktop.

      However, what I would be interested in experimenting with is multiple pointer devices to emulate some of the multi-touch gestures. I think it would encapture the best parts of the interface, and yet make them more precise. I have yet to find a good precise touch screen system.

    • by Myopic (18616)

      I think you may have made the mistake of thinking all screens are the same, and smudge in the same way. Imagine if there were a screen that didn't smudge, then you wouldn't object. On a sliding scale, the less smudging, the less you would object, and at some point the usefulness of the interface would overcome the objection to smudging. If they can build that interface, and that screen, then that would obviate your complaint. (And if they can't, then it's a good point.)

  • by Tubal-Cain (1289912) on Thursday August 20, 2009 @11:01PM (#29142587) Journal
    Anybody know how well Linux works on touchscreens/tablets?
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      As always with Linux, your mileage may vary. Multiple Pointer X looks very promising for touch screen usage, but as far as I know, there isn't really much designed for touch beyond handwriting. I would think that the new Gnome-Shell has the potential to be very touchscreen-friendly, though.
    • I know that Aaron Seigo has mentioned repeatedly that he has been trying to account for touch-screen users when designing the plasma shell for KDE 4. However, I haven't used KDE 4 on a touch device. So I don't really know.

    • by thatkid_2002 (1529917) on Thursday August 20, 2009 @11:38PM (#29142851)
      There is a few WMs (KDE 4 works well I think) that play nice with fingers. Linux's shells are quite touch friendly and even if something is not made for fingers, it is quite easy to make buttons (and fonts) bigger without things going crazy (like in Win XP). If the touch screen craze takes off it would not be long until 75% of FOSS projects have adjusted interfaces to allow finger interaction and you could bet that companies such as Novell and particularly Canonical will put the hard work into it.

      As for the actual hardware, I am not sure but from what I hear the situation isn't bad. Multi-pointer X will be in most mainstream distributions within the next release or two.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by RicRoc (41406)

        Linux friendly hardware is on it's way -- I have pre-ordered an ARM based Touch Book from Always Innovating [alwaysinnovating.com] that will never run Windows, it runs Linux and has a 8.9 inches 1024x600 A+ ressure sensitive touch screen

    • I remember somebody (from ibm i think) implementing pinch+twist in perl, does anybody know if the code every got polished and upstreamed?
      I think much of the framework for this stuff is there (hal, mpx, etc) but as always it needs somebody to really polish it up before its ready of users, i.e if you buy an embeded device with linux installed your probably ok, but setting up debian/fedora on the same system would be a PITA.

    • by mjwx (966435)

      Anybody know how well Linux works on touchscreens/tablets?

      Google Android. The touch screen works pretty well on my HTC Dream. Don't know how well it scales to higher resolutions though.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by corerunner (971136)
      I have a ThinkPad X61 Tablet with the multitouch screen. In this case multitouch refers to the ability to use the stylus or your finger, and not multiple fingers, so the usability is limited. It does work out of the box in Fedora 11 though, including support for my finger as a pointer. I've had the tablet for two years and personally I think Linux tablet support is finally making some respectable progress.
  • marketing release? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ignavus (213578) on Thursday August 20, 2009 @11:42PM (#29142865)

    Is this one of those "let's feed a positive story to the press to create some good vibes" type of story - straight out of marketing?

    Count me cynical, but expect to be regaled with Microsoft-scripted adverti- er "news stories" between now and the official release.

    • by macshit (157376) <miles@g[ ]org ['nu.' in gap]> on Friday August 21, 2009 @03:27AM (#29143913) Homepage

      Count me cynical, but expect to be regaled with Microsoft-scripted adverti- er "news stories" between now and the official release.

      There seems to have been a bunch of them recently on slashdot, though this is certainly of the most blatant -- not only is it free of actual interesting content, and obviously aimed at hyping a particular product, but it's written in an awkward yet breathless style that only ever comes out of marketting.

      This one is particularly silly because tablet pcs are an area that MS has been breathlessly predicting as the next big thing since at least the '90s. It's sort of amazing that they're still at it, but it seems very unlikely that windows 7 is somehow the magic ingredient that they've been missing all that time...

    • by dkf (304284)

      Is this one of those "let's feed a positive story to the press to create some good vibes" type of story - straight out of marketing?

      Maybe it's "igniting" as in "going down in flames".

      (Of course, it's possible that MS have done their UI homework and have actually made this all work and the story is based on excitement from OEMs wanting to shift all this stuff. If so, I'll be watching out for the flying pigs too.)

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        (Of course, it's possible that MS have done their UI homework and have actually made this all work and the story is based on excitement from OEMs wanting to shift all this stuff. If so, I'll be watching out for the flying pigs too.)

        Of course this is just more me-too-ism from MS and the real devices that have ignited the touch-screen market are this [apple.com] and this [apple.com] and this [apple.com]. They are doing it because they have shown that modern trackpads and displays can be made less clumsy and responsive to more than one input

    • by gtall (79522)

      You thought was my thought, this was straight from the Business School Product in the Marketing Dept. at MS. The person who responsible for getting it onto Slashdot must get something special for his effort....maybe a plaque for the office...or a blender...or something...

  • I just can't imagine anyone doing well in this space. Something big enough to be a tablet, should also have a keyboard or else it's just not very useful...

    I think even Apple's device (if there is one) would basically be a touch screen laptop. Otherwise they'd be crazy to do a touchscreen focused device of that size.

    We'll see I guess, but beyond anyone that owns a Wacom tablet, I'm not sure who really wants these.

  • by symbolset (646467) on Friday August 21, 2009 @12:18AM (#29143067) Journal

    It's cute for a little while. But your body's not evolved to stare at your hands for eight hours, or touch the object of your gaze for the same.

    If the screen is at a good viewing height, it's strain on your arms and shoulders. If it's at desk height, it's strain on your neck. In between it doesn't fit the work environment.

    So... it's an interesting interface for special purposes or brief interactions, but not a good platform for evolution of an interface because if the news guy that makes it look cool had to use it all day he'd morph into a troglodyte in short order.

    • by Myopic (18616)

      That's a good point. Keep in mind, however, that multitouch is not synonymous with touchscreen. I have one of those Fingerworks TouchStream keyboards, so you have a keyboard on your lap or desktop, but you look forward at your screen. I have always found that very natural. The TouchStream was a great but imperfect device, which I wish the new corporate owners (Apple) would improve and re-release. Unfortunately, they took the tech and built the iPhone, which made the keyboard an orphan of history.

      If multitou

    • by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Friday August 21, 2009 @10:53AM (#29146287) Homepage Journal

      It's cute for a little while. But your body's not evolved to stare at your hands for eight hours, or touch the object of your gaze for the same.

      Life must have been HELL for you before you got a computer, and had to learn from books or work things out with pencil and paper. Your comment is epic nonsense. I can't wait to see what you have to say about Surface and similar, e.g. table-sized multiuser multitouch screens. "Our bodies aren't evolved to work collaboratively with different objects spread all over a flat surface."

  • Isn't that what the mouse/touchpad/keyboard shortcuts are for? Keeping your hands on the controls seems better than having them on the display. Kind of like driving by touching your windshield.
  • If there were an iTablet which had a bit more than basic apps and a decent size (say, the screen part of the Airbook, or maybe half that) you could use it in pen mode. If Apple were bright enough to incorporate a decent Bluetooth stack you could then add a keyboard to it, in which case the laserprojected keyboards would come in handy (although I've not used on, maybe the stuff doesn't work that well).

    That way you could travel light and still have decent computing facilities with you.

    As for tablets, I just

  • As I recall, the hardware manufacturers were not pleased the last time there was a push on tablet format PCs.

    Microsoft left them with a lot of financial losses after pushing them quite aggressively to run with Windows Tablet Edition, only for it to fail to take off.

    I believe HP was one of the companies affected the most, and I notice they're not listed in these new manufacturers.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by unfasten (1335957)

      I believe HP was one of the companies affected the most, and I notice they're not listed in these new manufacturers.

      From the summary:

      , NextWindow, which already supplies HP's market-leading TouchSmart line, and Dell's Studio One

      They're not listed as a new one because they've been selling touch screen computers, successfully, for awhile now. The TouchSmart line was introduced in 2007.

  • Screen Wipe Market (Score:2, Insightful)

    by mcnazar (1231382)

    In that case I better invest in some screen wipe stocks, or better still in a screen wipe factory.

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