675952 story Why Did Touch Take 4 Decades to Catch On? 245 Posted by timothy on Saturday May 17, 2008 @03:54PM from the perhaps-no-one-knew-of-the-happy-ending dept. theodp writes "You probably saw media coverage of Bill Gates showing off touch-screen technology to his CEO play group last week. With the introduction of the iPhone and iPod Touch, touch (and multi-touch) technology — which folks like Ray Ozzie enjoyed as undergrads way back in the early '70s — has finally gone mainstream. The only question is: Why did it take four decades for its overnight success? Some suggest the expiration of significant patents filed during '70s and '80s may have had something to do with it — anything else?"