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Windows 7 Igniting Touchscreen PC Market

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the horses-for-courses dept.

Input Devices 257

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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Poorly Marketed Sector (4, Interesting)

im_thatoneguy (819432) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Re:Poorly Marketed Sector (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29142521)

Microsoft: because you sound eloquent when you have a mouth full of dick.

Re:Poorly Marketed Sector (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29142559)

... or cock!

Re:Poorly Marketed Sector (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29143337)

You want a website on geeks to read about putting chicken heads in your mouth. Might I suggest you google geek instead of nerd.

Re:Poorly Marketed Sector (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29142565)

I have a penis. 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 meat popsicle?" and are always amazed that I play with it and want to know if they can suck me off etc etc...

Re:Poorly Marketed Sector (1)

gandhi_2 (1108023) | more than 5 years ago | (#29142679)

Maddox?

Re:Poorly Marketed Sector (5, Funny)

Rayonic (462789) | more than 5 years ago | (#29142767)

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.

Re:Poorly Marketed Sector (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#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:Poorly Marketed Sector (2, Informative)

SL Baur (19540) | more than 5 years ago | (#29143887)

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 who signed off on doing the system in assembly language.

Re:Poorly Marketed Sector (4, Informative)

Rayonic (462789) | more than 5 years ago | (#29143669)

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

Re:Poorly Marketed Sector (1)

mgblst (80109) | more than 5 years ago | (#29144065)

Nah, this is still hilarious, the 1000s time someone brings up exactly the same point. Who is it who doesn't have a sense of humour.

Now, there is a company that converts macbooks to table pcs.

I have always wanted a x41t myself (or the newer x61t)

Re:Poorly Marketed Sector (5, Informative)

illumin8 (148082) | more than 5 years ago | (#29142891)

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.

Re:Poorly Marketed Sector (1)

Jurily (900488) | more than 5 years ago | (#29143345)

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?

Re:Poorly Marketed Sector (3, Informative)

i.of.the.storm (907783) | more than 5 years ago | (#29143425)

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:Poorly Marketed Sector (1, Troll)

Sethumme (1313479) | more than 5 years ago | (#29143821)

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.

Re:Poorly Marketed Sector (1)

i.of.the.storm (907783) | more than 5 years ago | (#29143867)

Can't you also do it by tapping two fingers? But a multitouch trackpad is a bit different from a single touch touchscreen.

Re:Poorly Marketed Sector (2, Funny)

Jurily (900488) | more than 5 years ago | (#29143893)

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.

Re:Poorly Marketed Sector [not] (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Re:Poorly Marketed Sector [not] (5, Interesting)

wcb4 (75520) | more than 5 years ago | (#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

Re:Poorly Marketed Sector [not] (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29143349)

you thought vista's handwriting recognition was good - windows 7's is amazing. with no training at all it picks up almost every word I write, and the gesture based correction is awesome. When recognised, the word itself turns into a button that you tap to correct. It also uses gestures to add spaces, split words, join words and delete individual letters or words. Most of the time on XP was spent correcting, whereas on 7 it just gets it

Steve Ballmer is a god (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29143899)

you thought vista's handwriting recognition was good - windows 7's is amazing.

I'm creaming in my jeans reading that. As a matter of fact I'm just going to throw all my Linux boxes and Macs out the window. Who cares?

Microsoft Windows 7 is like the coming of The Messiah. Maybe even as good as Obama.

Re:Poorly Marketed Sector [not] (1)

Provocateur (133110) | more than 5 years ago | (#29143429)

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.

Digital cameras, and you use it as a sketchpad!? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29143369)

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

Re:Digital cameras, and you use it as a sketchpad! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29144063)

Because he's a Microsoft reputation manager, and his job is to promote their products.

Duh.

Touch is only part of it (4, Insightful)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Re:Touch is only part of it (1)

thatkid_2002 (1529917) | more than 5 years ago | (#29142509)

Never mind that the DOM does not integrate into the WM and the two components don't interact so doing something as you say is currently impossible - even if somebody did want to do that.
It is a chicken and egg problem - who makes the first move towards such a concept? Do you really think they could agree on a standard within 2 years?

You can bang on about usability concepts 'till the cows come home but in the end it really a bigger issue than just one OS or program and there has to be communications and standards established across the whole ecosystem.

Re:Touch is only part of it (1)

InsertWittyNameHere (1438813) | more than 5 years ago | (#29142735)

I wouldn't touch it with a 10ft multi-touch pole!

Re:Touch is only part of it (0, Flamebait)

distantbody (852269) | more than 5 years ago | (#29142987)

iPhone really took off because it offered an interface that few had ever experienced.

The iPhone took off because it was shiny, minimalist and made by a company renowned for minimalist. So many people buy them because so many people are attracted to that, however naive that attraction may be.

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

I disagree. I can't immediatley think of a real-life example, but many people will select form over function, Mr. Garrisons gyroscope-powered monowheel comes to mind.

Re:Touch is only part of it (2, Insightful)

node 3 (115640) | more than 5 years ago | (#29143121)

What you're missing is that form is integral with the function, and the minimalist form directly impacts function in such a way that people really, really like.

Most tech companies get this backwards and try to produce products based on "function over form", which is why they end up making devices with a million buttons that people never use and functions that get in the way of usability (those WiFi switches on notebooks are a prime example).

Re:Touch is only part of it (0)

mjwx (966435) | more than 5 years ago | (#29143157)

What you're missing is

What you're all missing is that the Ipod took off because it was so heavily advertised and marketed in what was then considered a niche market and effectively ignored. Apple lives and dies by the hype and marketing sword. Take the ad's off TV and you instantly lose sales (mindshare if you insist on using buzzwords)

Re:Touch is only part of it (2, Interesting)

dangitman (862676) | more than 5 years ago | (#29143271)

What you're all missing is that the Ipod took off because it was so heavily advertised and marketed in what was then considered a niche market and effectively ignored.

Except that it didn't. The iPod was successful long before it was heavily marketed. This also doesn't explain why other heavily-marketed products in this area failed.

Re:Touch is only part of it (1)

Myopic (18616) | more than 5 years ago | (#29143287)

I disagree with what you said. I think the iPod was successful because it was closer to what people desired than the competition.

As for me, I think my iPod is okay, but I wish there were a product even closer to what I desire.

Re:Touch is only part of it (1)

node 3 (115640) | more than 5 years ago | (#29143557)

No, I'm pretty sure it's because people actually want iPods. Hype alone wouldn't keep them so phenomenally popular after 8 years.

Re:Touch is only part of it (2, Insightful)

PIBM (588930) | more than 5 years ago | (#29143931)

Are you saying that wifi switches on notebook are useless ?

I like being able to just plug the network and close the wifi, so that it will switch my file copies over to the much faster network, without requiring to pick up the mouse and go change any property.

A note to everyone using one or someone elses (2, Insightful)

acehole (174372) | more than 5 years ago | (#29142435)

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

Re:A note to everyone using one or someone elses (3, Interesting)

im_thatoneguy (819432) | more than 5 years ago | (#29142459)

Yeah because door knobs and keyboards are so much more hygienic...?

At least with a touchscreen it's only the tips of your fingers and not your entire palm (as in the case of a mouse or door knob).

Re:A note to everyone using one or someone elses (4, Funny)

acehole (174372) | more than 5 years ago | (#29142499)

Yeah because door knobs and keyboards are so much more hygienic...?

At least with a touchscreen it's only the tips of your fingers and not your entire palm (as in the case of a mouse or door knob).

I really hope you dont use your whole palm to go to the bathroom with. A little excessive isnt it? Or do you just like a job well done?

Re:A note to everyone using one or someone elses (1)

buchner.johannes (1139593) | more than 5 years ago | (#29143529)

Why do you pick your noes in the bathroom? Also, eww!

Re:A note to everyone using one or someone elses (1)

Merls the Sneaky (1031058) | more than 5 years ago | (#29142595)

How do you turn the tap (faucet) on and off? Using a public restroom you're probably leaving with traces of not only your dick on your hands.

The only exception is where you have wash basins with hands free activation.

Re:A note to everyone using one or someone elses (1, Offtopic)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 5 years ago | (#29142661)

How do you turn the tap (faucet) on and off? Using a public restroom you're probably leaving with traces of not only your dick on your hands.

Paper towel will work.

Re:A note to everyone using one or someone elses (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29143065)

You've got issues if you're routinely doing that.

Re:A note to everyone using one or someone elses (1)

gandhi_2 (1108023) | more than 5 years ago | (#29142687)

But then you are susceptible to IRDA hacking.

Re:A note to everyone using one or someone elses (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29143851)

Idiot. Wash basins just use an IR proximity sensor: it flashes a light in the IR spectrum, and records the amount of light that gets reflected back. The water flows when something reflective in the IR spectrum (eg your hand) is underneath the faucet. Auto-flush toilets use the same system, except they only activate when something WAS in front of the sensor but THEN moves out of the way.

Re:A note to everyone using one or someone elses (4, Funny)

acehole (174372) | more than 5 years ago | (#29142829)

How do you turn the tap (faucet) on and off?.

I dont.

I carry a six pack of puppies around to lick my hands clean.

Re:A note to everyone using one or someone elses (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29143317)

I don't like to think about having traces of somebody else's dick on my hands, but at the day I'm not worried about dick, I'm worried about feces, which is found not only on my anus, and on used toilet paper, but also on every single faucet, doorknob, telephone, light switch, window latch, steering wheel, tabletop, button, keyboard, arm rest, pen, or other oft-touched object. (The one place feces isn't usually found is on a toilet seat.) /off topic but extremely important to keep in mind

Screw the article... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29142439)

ericatcw writes "Apple Inc. may still be coy about whether it

Who is this "Erica tcw" and where can I get her number?!
 

Re:Screw the article... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29142511)

Who is this "Erica tcw" and where can I get her number?!

If you hover over her name, the link is to ComputerWorld. Likely her name is Erica T. and she works for ComputerWorld. Probably for whoever cwmike is. Hell, she probably is cwmike.

You probably wouldn't like her if even she is a real person, because she likely works for the marketing department over there. Marketing people suck.

Re:Screw the article... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29143759)

Five bucks says it's supposed to be "Eric AT CW", so good luck finding "her".

Call me when apps support it (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29142479)

No applications that support multitouch = dead hardware platform.

Google isn't likely to support it since they have their android phone to look after (and future OS to release).

Touch vs. Tablet and hype (5, Insightful)

dangitman (862676) | more than 5 years ago | (#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?

Re:Touch vs. Tablet and hype (1)

e2d2 (115622) | more than 5 years ago | (#29142631)

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:Touch vs. Tablet and hype (2, Interesting)

dangitman (862676) | more than 5 years ago | (#29142899)

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 pressure detection, like a Wacom Cintiq. Then you could use it for fine manipulation, drawing, graphics editing, etc. Fingers are too clumsy for this sort of work.

It's a conundrum, because you don't want styluses for small devices like phones or PDAs, because they are annoying and get in the way. Hence the success of the iPhone versus other PDA devices. But once you get beyond a certain size, it's fingers that get in the way. And I guess once you get to an even bigger size, fingers become useful again.

To me, this just seems like a poor fit for finger manipulation. Small phone? Multitouch is great (with one hand). Big-ass table? Multitouch is great (with two hands) Something in-between? Stylus is great, as it's a similar size to our paper notebooks and documents.

Re:Touch vs. Tablet and hype (2, Insightful)

Myopic (18616) | more than 5 years ago | (#29143355)

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 imagine this, but if you did it for a few minutes, you would understand. Keep an open mind and if you get the chance, give it a prolonged try. It's awesome.

Re:Touch vs. Tablet and hype (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29143441)

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 same functionality to appear in Pro Tools or even FLStudio.

Re:Touch vs. Tablet and hype (1)

matrixskp (629075) | more than 5 years ago | (#29142869)

>> when there are no actual units being sold>> I just came from a meeting with Next Window... and they have sold 150k+ units of the first model with HP.

I guess the fact that Windows 7 Operating System is multi-touch enabled makes the whole idea of having a touch screen more attractive. Next ARE selling units believe me and the from the Stats I've seen the PC makers believe they will move from an 80/20 mix of Non-touch/Touch enabled PC's by the end of this year, to an 20/80 mix (with 80% of PC's being Touch enabled) by the end of next year. Why wouldn't you pay the extra $100 for the touch screen?

If you've seen 3-4 year old kids use an iPhone and then try to touch the screen of a normal PC, you would understand that this is the future of user interfaces. Removing one level of abstraction (moving the mouse here... moves the pointer over here) really makes for a much nicer experience IMHO.

Sure its not for everyone or every task (I'm thinking gaming, designers and programmers)... but in a general day to day interaction with a computer... especially in a business presentation, education environment or general day to day browsing... it really works.

Now being a Mac user... I'm jealous, hurry up Apple, can we have a touch enabled iMac please?

Re:Touch vs. Tablet and hype (1)

dangitman (862676) | more than 5 years ago | (#29143219)

I just came from a meeting with Next Window... and they have sold 150k+ units of the first model with HP.

How can they be selling the units described in this story, when Windows 7 isn't even available yet? Do you have a link to this model?

Re:Touch vs. Tablet and hype (1)

compro01 (777531) | more than 5 years ago | (#29143837)

They're probably selling multitouch capable devices with vista and an upgrade voucher for 7.

Re:Touch vs. Tablet and hype (1)

gandhi_2 (1108023) | more than 5 years ago | (#29142881)

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.

Igniting = Processor melts (1)

syousef (465911) | more than 5 years ago | (#29143013)

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:Touch vs. Tablet and hype (2, Insightful)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 5 years ago | (#29143483)

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.

huge jump in sales of screen cleaning products (2, Insightful)

pinkishpunk (1461107) | more than 5 years ago | (#29142557)

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.

Re:huge jump in sales of screen cleaning products (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29142653)

Windows 7 does includes an "on-screen keyboard" that is finger-friendly.
http://i.gizmodo.com/5144173/windows-7-touch-and-multitouch-video-walkthrough

Re:huge jump in sales of screen cleaning products (1)

gandhi_2 (1108023) | more than 5 years ago | (#29142897)

that is finger-friendly

so much for a better mousetrap. ):

Re:huge jump in sales of screen cleaning products (1)

symbolic (11752) | more than 5 years ago | (#29143473)

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?

Re:huge jump in sales of screen cleaning products (1)

rsborg (111459) | more than 5 years ago | (#29143547)

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.

No greasy fingers on my screen (1)

e2d2 (115622) | more than 5 years ago | (#29142579)

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.

Re:No greasy fingers on my screen (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 5 years ago | (#29142813)

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.

Re:No greasy fingers on my screen (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29142833)

I have a serious question - does anyone else really dislike people's greasy fingers on a screen?

Not at all. In fact, I encourage everyone else to touch the screen while eating a bag of potato chips.

Re:No greasy fingers on my screen (1)

Myopic (18616) | more than 5 years ago | (#29143377)

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.)

Touchscreen Linux? (3, Funny)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 5 years ago | (#29142587)

Anybody know how well Linux works on touchscreens/tablets?

Re:Touchscreen Linux? (2, Informative)

SilverHatHacker (1381259) | more than 5 years ago | (#29142629)

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.

Re:Touchscreen Linux? (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 5 years ago | (#29142803)

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.

Re:Touchscreen Linux? (4, Informative)

thatkid_2002 (1529917) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

multitouch gestures? (1)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 5 years ago | (#29142883)

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.

Re:Touchscreen Linux? (1)

mjwx (966435) | more than 5 years ago | (#29143227)

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.

Will always been a niche market (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29142815)

one simple reason - nothing beats a mouse and querty for input speed and flexability, on 99% of applications.

Re:Will always been a niche market (5, Funny)

kamapuaa (555446) | more than 5 years ago | (#29142997)

nothing beats a mouse and querty for input speed You know normally I'm willing to let spelling errors go without saying a word. But you actually had to type "querty." Didn't you notice that there was some kind of pattern there, that seemed just a bit off? Did you look down at your keyboard and see a word that looked almost, but not quite, the same?

Re:Will always been a niche market (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29143191)

Nah, he just uses Dvorak.

Re:Will always been a niche market (1)

deltharius (1451283) | more than 5 years ago | (#29143283)

Maybe he was typing it on a Dvorak keyboard so the letters weren't in their proper place... :)

Re:Will always been a niche market (1)

darkhitman (939662) | more than 5 years ago | (#29143395)

Then in that case, why is he purposely hindering his typing speed? If 'qwerty' is the faster input method, using Dvorak seems pointless.

Unless he's a masochist with poor spelling typing on a Dvorak keyboard... in which case, everything is explained!

Re:Will always been a niche market (2, Interesting)

Myopic (18616) | more than 5 years ago | (#29143407)

Today's applications, my man. Ask yourself, how well does a keyboard and mouse work for Wii games? What, you say, not very well at all? Do you think that's because keyboard and mouse suck, or because Wii applications weren't designed for keyboard and mouse? If consumer software were optimized for multitouch, then things would be different. I expect a slow co-evolution of software and input devices. (I also expect keyboard and mouse to be with us for a long, long time.)

marketing release? (4, Insightful)

ignavus (213578) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Re:marketing release? (3, Informative)

macshit (157376) | more than 5 years ago | (#29143913)

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...

Touchscreen Vs Styus (1)

Dusthead Jr. (937949) | more than 5 years ago | (#29142907)

I see the whole movement of everything going multitouch a little disappointing. Don't get me wrong, I love the idea of multitouch and I love my iPhone, but I also like using the stylus, mostly because I like drawing on screen. I bought a TabletPC, not to take notes, but as an alternative to a $2000 Wacom Cintiq. The tablet cost me $1000 and came with a computer attached. (Although it would be nice to use the tablet portion on my Mac.) Even on my PDA I'll whip out a sketch or two.

The mutlitouch on the iPhone is nice and all, but it makes drawing a little awkward. I know that there are people can draw well enough on a iPhone to make covers of magazines, but I've never been I to finger painting. I would hope that there would still be some cheap stylus based tablets coming soon. Or that the Wacom would seriously lower the price on the Cintiq.

Re:Touchscreen Vs Styus (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29143233)

jesus dude, if you cannot tell difference between touch screen and wacom pro line, then buy your self small tablet and learn how even more ergonomic it is to draw while not looking down

Re:Touchscreen Vs Styus (1)

sayfawa (1099071) | more than 5 years ago | (#29143431)

I'm with you there. But I've heard that Wacom is making some capacitive screens. So hopefully we'll get the pressure sensitive digitizers that they already make in the same package as a capacitive touch screen.

Check out the google hits:
wacom+capacitive [google.ca]

Congratulations (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29142927)

It's a tablet... and a PC. :)

If it was a Mac, you'd probably spend too much for it since Apple does enjoy charging an extra 500-2000% markup.

I see these as always being a niche (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 5 years ago | (#29142933)

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.

Apple's too busy... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29142943)

touchscreen = bad ergonomics (3, Insightful)

symbolset (646467) | more than 5 years ago | (#29143067)

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.

Re:touchscreen = bad ergonomics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29143251)

if these became widely deployed an industry would develop in support, IE: widescale production of workchairs that accomodate a lying down position, with a desk around the area of the waist tilted to be viewable by a supported head. I cant see widescale adoption of tablets really, but where there is a will, there is a way.

Re:touchscreen = bad ergonomics (1)

Myopic (18616) | more than 5 years ago | (#29143433)

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 multitouch really takes off in the consumer space (I'm not holding my breath, but I'm certainly crossing my fingers), then probably we'd get devices with multitouch on both the screen and an external keyboard. Users would touch wherever they want, whatever was most convenient.

My boss always yells at me when I touch her screen (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29143071)

Now I am really going to get it !! She's bound to spank when I touch all over here Win7 screen !!

no feedback no (1)

markringen (1501853) | more than 5 years ago | (#29143201)

no feedback no hope, also they become filthy as hell in workplace environments. u can't see if someone has washed their hands or not, u got that new disease? yeah that Windows Touch disease! it's the great NEW thing from Microsoft. i should work in advertising :D

Never really felt the need to touch the screen (1)

okmijnuhb (575581) | more than 5 years ago | (#29143275)

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.

And by igniting.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29143445)

they really mean setting your fingers on fire... windows 7 is just too hot!

question is... (1)

polle404 (727386) | more than 5 years ago | (#29143489)

The real question is....

Is this the year of linux on the Touchscreen?

co34 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29143581)

Every day...like

A more mainstream market (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29143843)

I don't think that touchscreen is meant for developers, this is meant for the person who jumps on the internet to google something or watch a youtube video. Realistically these type of activities take very little typing, a word or two in most cases. If a decent on-screen keyboard is available that would eliminate the need for a mouse/keyboard, making this much easier to install in places that you don't typically find a PC.

Imagine having one in the kitchen to look up recipes or watch the news while you cook, in the bathroom to listen to music while you shower, I'm sure that I'm missing some huge possibilities here. Most every non-technical friend of mine would love to be able to touch the screen to get where they want. Touch is much more intuitive to an average person than keyboard and mouse; take the iPhone or iPod Touch for example, no keyboards or mouse but hugely successful even if you would never write a program on one.

The perfect combination - laser keyboard (1)

cheros (223479) | more than 5 years ago | (#29143969)

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 hope it's not like HP ELitebooks. I had one foistet upon me on a project, and it was utter, complete *rubbish* at digitising - you just could not calibrate it accurate enough to have the pen where you put it on the screen so it was unusable. Add to that that MS in its infinite wisdom decided that as soon as you're pen capable you MUST have that keyboard image visible on login (so, just watch which keys are pressed during login to get the password, and no, an ability to disable that is not available) and it made me decide I'd not use that for my own work where possible. That laptop was twice the price it was worth because of the fancy screen. Rubbish, rubbish, rubbish.

I thus hope Apple can do better. If they do I may even buy it. I just use what works for me :-).

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