Microsoft – Windows RT – Product Launch
When one sees grown men dressed in Black Turtlenecks or Sports Jacket and Blue Jeans you know it is Product Launch Day.
The Artist formerly known as Prince “Sign of the Times” quip comes to mind when one reads some of what is being said about MS Windows RT:
Here are some of them:
In an article titled “Qualcomm CEO says Windows legacy apps have to go touch”
“Touch is the new paradigm, says Paul Jacobs, and older programs will have to adapt to the upcoming, touch-friendly version of the Windows OS”
Here ‘re a few follow up comments:
I learned Word, Excel and Powerpoint when MS had no windows. When MS got windows to work I had a Compaq and a Mac on my desk and ran Office on the Compaq because it was faster. I learned Windows menus 3 to 5 levels deep, Notes, Handouts, Template modification. Office abused my trust. It never solved my problems with data entry since it chose to be as incompatible as possible with other similar products. Now, Qualcomm says Office must be compatible with tablets and phablets. How about making office compatible with humans. Its about time.
Several years ago, I finally switched away from Microsoft operating systems (about the time of the shift to Windows XP), because every three years or so, all of the apps, which are what I actually want from the computer, would no longer work with newer versions. So, now, my most important apps won’t generally run on ANY Microsoft operating system (although many of them do come in versions designed to work with Microsoft).
So, since none of my apps will work with Windows 8, why would anyone in their right mind think that I would switch to what will be an inoperative operating system?
Real apps have to go touch? Real apps are browser based? Real apps run on phones? Real apps care about battery power? A little toy with two or three screens is a “real app”? Real apps care what consumers think??? DEFINITELY NOT. Quite the reverse.
Real apps have hundreds of thousands to millions of lines of code. They use the host computer’s full performance… all by themselves.
If Microsoft and Apple go consumer, and forget businesses…. Linux will finally win, by being the last man standing.
I generally disagree with this article. There certainly are some traditional applications that might be better in a touch screen format. But there are very many applications that are much better, and will remain much better, having a keyboard and mouse interface.
One general problem with touch is lack of precision. A stylus can improve that some but even that isn’t precise enough for many applications. If you begin to “blow up” the size of objects so they are large enough for a finger or stylus then you’ve reduced the amount of data that can be displayed on a given screen size. Many applications are very dense with features, options, and data on a single screen, which is preferable in many applications.
The other advantage of a keyboard and mouse interface is only a small amount of hand movement is required. On a large screen, like my 24″ monitor, a great deal of hand movement would be necessary if it were a touch environment. For short durations that isn’t a big deal, but for a full 8 hour day of work it isn’t practical.
Of course if all applications were converted to touch then a vertical display monitor would no longer be practical. At a minimum the display would have to be angled quite a bit or even laid flat. The traditional sitting position for millions of people would have to be altered to something else to adapt to touch screens at work.
Touch screens are already at work in manufacturing for controlling and monitoring machines. These are generally used for a small percentage of a work day. I’m not aware of a single design environment where 100% touch screen is used for full 8 hour days. Touch screens are not new so they’ve had a long time to find practical applications. Just not in the PC world where a keyboard and mouse is the desired setup.
Perhaps over time (decades) a combination of touch, voice input, eye tracking hardware, and other innovations will change the workplace. In the near future I don’t see a change, or even desire a change.
Touchpads have been around for many years now, almost all laptops have them. But as I walk around my company literally every desktop and laptop being used on a desk has a mouse. Many engineers even bring their wireless mice along with their laptops to meetings.
Tablets have brought a lot of exciting new things into the home and even into the office. But a change away from the PC, traditional software, keyboard, and mouse is much further in the future than this article suggests.
It all makes me Soulja to Youtube.com and listen to “Kenny Chesney & Kid Rock”‘s remade of Waylon Jennings’ “LuckenBach Texas”
The song lyrics go:
So baby let’s sell your diamond ring
Buy some boots and faded jeans and go away
This coat and tie is choking me
In your high society you cry all day
We’ve been so busy keepin’ up with the Jones
Four car garage and we’re still building on
Talking about “Four car garage and still building on …”, I heard my old boss just bought an Island in Hawaii.