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Input Devices Handhelds Portables

'Gorilla Arm' Will Keep Touch Screens From Taking Over 610

Hugh Pickens writes "With Windows 8, Microsoft has made a billion-dollar gamble that personal computing is taking a new direction and that new direction is touch, says David Pogue. It's efficient on a touchscreen tablet. But Microsoft expects us to run Windows 8 on our tens of millions of everyday PCs. Although touch has been incredibly successful on our phones, tablets, airport kiosks and cash machines, Pogue says touch will never take over on PCs. The reason? Gorilla Arms. There are three big differences between tablet screens and a PC's screen: angle, distance and time interval. The problem is 'the tingling ache that [comes] from extending my right arm to manipulate that screen for hours, an affliction that has earned the nickname of gorilla arm.' Some experts say gorilla arm is what killed touch computing during its first wave in the early 1980s but Microsoft is betting that Windows 8 will be so attractive that we won't mind touching our PC screens, at least until the PC concept fades away entirely. 'My belief is that touch screens make sense on mobile computers but not on stationary ones,' concludes Pogue. 'Microsoft is making a gigantic bet that I'm wrong.'"
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'Gorilla Arm' Will Keep Touch Screens From Taking Over

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  • by Eirenarch ( 1099517 ) on Sunday January 06, 2013 @09:55AM (#42494969)


    I've been using Windows 8 on a touch enabled ultrabook and I LOVE it. I regularly stretch my arm to my regular desktop monitor and remember that it does not have touch. Of course I do not use only touch. I use keyboard and trackpad but some operations (specifically scrolling and zooming in the browser) are so much easier with touch than they are with the trackpad. Sometimes I even start and close apps with touch. I am not even talking about metro apps (which are mostly useless at this point). I am talking about regular Windows. After using it for a while I am sure touch is here to stay at least in the ultrabook and laptop form factor.

  • by Joshua Fan ( 1733100 ) on Sunday January 06, 2013 @10:32AM (#42495191) Homepage
    And if you wanted an article that actually intelligently criticized Windows 8 instead of that completely unscientific article from Scientific American:

    Windows 8 — Disappointing Usability for Both Novice and Power Users [nngroup.com]
  • It seems to me, and many others, that Microsoft has an internal policy of deliberately making bad versions of Windows to increase sales. Look at the background of bad versions: Windows ME, Windows Vista, Windows 8.

    A company that has a virtual monopoly can make money by deliberately abusing its customers. That's especially true when a product is complicated and customers don't have the time to become technically knowledgeable.

    Many people who buy a Windows computer now will want to buy Windows 9 when it is released because Windows 8 is so weird. That tends to double sales, because customers don't pay an upgrade price, Microsoft requires them to pay for an entirely new operating system, even though there have been few changes between versions. Also, Microsoft has established multiple prices. Customers who bought Windows 7 because they didn't like Windows Vista paid far more per copy than computer manufacturers.

    It seems that abuse is deliberate Microsoft company policy. Yes, Microsoft management is incompetent, but also knowingly destructive. For example, a court case established that a Microsoft manager had said before Windows Vista was released that it was not ready to be released. Knowing that, Vista was released anyway.

    Microsoft has been alternating bad and good versions of operating systems since the days of DOS. For example, DOS version 3.0 had serious bugs. DOS version 3.1 fixed the bugs. Customers who owned DOS 3 were required to pay the full retail price for DOS 3.1, even though there were few changes.
  • by Runaway1956 ( 1322357 ) on Sunday January 06, 2013 @11:14AM (#42495483) Homepage Journal

    So run that shit in a virtual machine. FFS, the real operating system doesn't have to be compromised by decades old libraries and executables that are full of exploits.

  • by cbreak ( 1575875 ) on Sunday January 06, 2013 @12:23PM (#42495977)
  • by beelsebob ( 529313 ) on Sunday January 06, 2013 @12:25PM (#42495983)

    Heh, the irony being that what they should have taken from "users spend 95% of their time with one maximised app" was "we don't do a good enough job of supporting lots of windows of lots of different sizes". Mac users for example are perfectly happy with windows spread all over the place, and I can identify a few things (even in windows 7) that are the reason:

    1) Less crufty window border stuff everywhere –maximising a window in windows is a good way of getting rid of all the extra padding they add around windows when they're not maximised.
    2) Menu bar at the top, always –meaning that again, tons of screen real estate isn't taken up by duplicated menu bars if you have loads of windows open, and meaning that for those that do use the menus, that mousing to them is easier.
    3) The "zoom" button making windows as big as they need to be, rather than simply full screening them, encouraging users to think "what can I get next to this".

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 06, 2013 @01:15PM (#42496355)

    More supporting evidence that it's about the app store is the fact that Microsoft could have easily made .NET apps run on Surface RT. They chose not to, not for technical reasons, but to "start from scratch" about controlling the ability for 3rd party developers to sell applications and getting a cut (like *pple does).

    It is for this reason, that I've abandoned .NET technology. RT was the perfect case for it and MS fucked me over. So I say "fuck you Microsoft." .NET biggest draw was the ability to run on multiple platforms without recompiling and MS just shit all over that concept. Yeah, I'm a little pissed off...

  • by hairyfeet ( 841228 ) <bassbeast1968 AT gmail DOT com> on Sunday January 06, 2013 @01:45PM (#42496653) Journal

    This is what is blowing my fucking mind...you have PC sales down 13% over the same 4th quarter year before last, even though the economy was worse which clearly indicates the reason that sales are plummeting is Win 8 is a DO NOT WANT. I can tell you as a little shop owner I've had people calling me up going "I don't like that funky new Windows, can you sell me a (insert desktop/laptop) with the old Windows?" so its even worse than Vista on the bomb scale. Then you have the Surface, which they spent over a billion and a half marketing mind you, selling less than a million units [bgr.com] and in fact sales were so bad they called their supplier and halted production so the warehouse wouldn't be overflowing, what does that tell you?

    It tells me that this is the WRONG MOVE, hell Ray Charles could see its the wrong move, but what does Ballmer do? He goes full retard [bgr.com] and by doing so is pretty much putting the final nail in the coffin of the Windows X86 business, their largest fricking money maker! I mean do you think the OEMs are gonna put up with his price gouging, knowing that every dime they give MSFT is gonna be used to try to put them out of business? Oh hell no, they are probably talking to Google even as we speak to start ramping up ChromeTops and ChromeBooks!

    I don't get it, I really really don't. sure MSFT wasn't making Apple money but they were still making billions of dollars with Windows, to just completely fucking destroy what Bill took nearly 30 years to build....and for what? NOBODY is gonna pay Apple money for a MSFT Laptop or desktop, they'll just buy an iMac or a Macbook Air! He is destroying the company for NOTHING, WinPhone has flopped twice, Win 8 is a megaflop, and they can't even sell enough Surface units to keep the product line rolling...WTF?

    Never before in my 25+ years of tech have I ever seen a billion dollar company just up and commit suicide like that. I mean do you realize that just the past 7 years MSFT has blown something like 40 billion fricking dollars on failed ventures? 40 billion dollars! Now is NOT the time to do something stupid, the economy is bad, their competitors are firing on all cylinders, so they kill their relationship with the OEMs to become a more expensive Apple? Does ANYBODY think that will work?

    What a fucking trainwreck, if the board doesn't get his fat stupid ass out of the big chair and do a 180 but quick they are gonna end up like RIM, with nothing but legacy business customers and even they will be looking for an exit.

  • by bluescrn ( 2120492 ) on Sunday January 06, 2013 @03:53PM (#42497605)
    Win8 is a very different beast. The media has written it off as a simple UI design failure, a clumsy effort to support touchscreens/tablets. But it's not about that at all. Win8 is all about the closure of Windows, and turning at least the consumer versions of the OS into a locked-down signed-code-only, app-store-only, desktop-less closed platform.

    To Microsoft, Win8 isn't broken. It's just a difficult step on the path from to 'Closed Windows'
  • by mcgrew ( 92797 ) * on Monday January 07, 2013 @11:23AM (#42505051) Homepage Journal

    Two observations: 1, W8 won't fly. 2, "gorilla arm" is something wimps and pussies fear. Know anyone in home construction? They not only have their arms in front of them eight hours a day, but those arms are holding heavy tools.

    It isn't the physical discomfort, it's the inconvinience. Moving your hand from the mouse to the keyboard is bad enough, but reaching past the keyboard to the screen (which your arm now partly blocks) is worse. It's a really,k really stupid concept for a PC. If a device has a mouse and keyboard, it doesn't need a touch screen at all. What kind of idiots does MS employ, anyway??

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