Touchscreen application is best suited for places like customer support where you see a faster, easier access time when going to look something up or for simply browsing through several folders, numerous files mainly to view.
As for the home desktop on the other hand it would be far better as an item you would find in the Ease of Access rather then being made the default gui. The loss of the Start orb and menu despite the 3rd party help along with the almost mandatory touchscreen based Start screen which hopefully see a drastic improvement in appearance by the time 8 is RTM could well end up being a large deterent rather then boost for the next version.
MS is certainly taking the gamble with this one no doubt. It's especially risky when you consider that not everyone even wants to look at touchscreen let alone the gui change made! ME Flop III? will be on the minds of many despite the likely improvements made in other areas.
In some instances quick database look ups are OK when done by touch screen and relatively simple transactions like searching a destination station and booking a train ticket at a railway station where you don't have to do much user input -- although once you need to use a touch type "Virtual" keyboard that appears on the screen things can slow down drastically.
Some game playing I suppose could even be done via touch screen (I'm not a gamer so I can't say if this is B/S or not) but anything that requires more than a simple "Yes/No" type of entry or can't be populated by a drop down box containing not more than a dozen or so entries is really totally unsuited to Touch screens.
Anway what about the Health hazard too -- say you've got a large LCD monitor -- the furthest you eyes could be from the monitor is then arms length and typing is also uncomfortable.
Using a Wireless keyboard / Mouse / Pen (Photoshop it's great using a wireless pen) seems the most comfortable way of using "Proper" computers.
BTW using a wireless pen on an A4 type of pad next to the computer is great too and IMO is a far better option than Touch screens for a COMPUTER. (Smart phones and Small tablets are another issue of course as far as Touch screens are concerned).
For a desktop touch screen PC, I think most people have the concept of a desk, a tower on the floor or on the bottom of the desk, and the touch monitor two or so feet back. Of course this setup wouldn't be great for touch as it would ache! No, I believe that the tower form factor will be left behind in deference to the All-In-One form factor, with a touch screen of course. But with an AIO PC, the keyboard is literally right in front of it so to allow different inputs. Also with an AIO PC, you would preferably want to place it somewhere so it's only a foot away from you sitting down, almost like how a laptop is set up for use. To me, I think the touch AIO PC is the only true innovation to a TRUE desktop PC. And with Windows 8, I bet the AIO PC will flourish better than before.
With Intel, Dell, Lenovo and others in the game, it will give the best chance to Windows 8 Tablets. Android tablets don't have too much hardware standard. We have to see if the Intel chipset will support USB. Do we have info about the chipset Intel will sell with their new CPU ?
The best source for information on the newer Intel chipset design and what it supports would be the Intel docs themselves. As for usb all newer boards will automatically adopt the USB 3.0 standard as well as retain 2.0 for the present time.
I readily have to agree with jimbo45 about the royal pain it would be to constantly have to reach out arm's length for each step you take while at a desktop with touchscreen involved over a touch pen even touchpad input. The "Reach out and put your face against the screen" concept wouldn't go well for most of the "point and click" generation not looking for a major change of a main Windows function rather then simply seeing a newer look for the same OS.
As for gaming besides the Windows games your desktop shortcut simply becomes a rectangle on the new Start screen. If you pin any to the taskbar or create a new addon Quick Launch toolbar as you would in 7 then you simply would be clicking the desktop icon and wait to start it.
Touchscreen gaming in whole? You won't be playing any 1st person shooter or sports game by touching the screen for each movement or action! Left turn - touch this block, jump up on ladder - touch this other block. For the more classic board games and other puzzle type games but never for any action title.
I just came back from visiting a friend who is a fairly high ranking executive in a huge multinational corporation. He loves the idea of tablets and touchscreens and does most of his letter writing, report generation and letter writing either on his iPhone or iPad. Of course, he doesn't know how to touch type but doing what he does for more than a few minutes might push me over the edge into insanity.
We might see a huge surge in tablets because they are convenient and people will convince themselves that they are easier to type on than a regular keyboard with a full sized monitor.
nothing against Iphone's but I'd imagine doing a decent report with diagrams and attachments on an Ipad would be a "Royal pain in the you know where".
The only type of report I could imagine doing on an Ipad would have about 3 lines Max.
Ipad's etc are probably fine for SIMPLE web surfing / reading books / watching movies/ SIMPLE email --but for anything else I'd pass on the whole concept.
It's not because I'm scared of New Technology -- it's just that these devices don't offer me 99% of what I use a "Classical" laptop for -- and Netbooks with 4GB memory and an SSD are fine and lightweight for travelling too.
Some people who have basic needs probably never needed a computer in the first place --these devices are just perfect for them -- also no OS to hose up etc.
Not sure that this market (Tablets) is really Huge either once we get the next generation of smart phones with a decent OS in them.
The one thing about the IPhone as well as certain other smart phones is having a better more full keyed keyboard over what you will find on most cell phones with a qwerty keyboards as far as the letter and character keys being complete. That is how you would fill out a form or report. As for the typical cells you have a limited amount of text and several keys not included due to the size constraints there.
For other portables besides a laptop the netbook would likely be the preferred here as long as it had an illuminated keyboard! Then you can find which keys are what when not necessarily in the best lit spots!
The portable market galore for touchscreen while leaving the desktop as a desktop on a desktop pc is better reasoning for all this. For Tablet and Windows Phone go for it while most expect to see a desktop OS on a desktop system to begin with. If they fail to provide a Metro disable in the retail 8 it wouldn't be good news for the new version.