Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums

When people say touch is useless...

  1. #1

    Posts : 5,707
    Windows 8.1 Pro

    When people say touch is useless...

    “Mice are nice ideas, but of dubious value for business users” (George Vinall, PC Week, April 24, 1984)

    “There is no evidence that people want to use these things.” (John C. Dvorak, San Francisco Examiner, February 19, 1984)

    “I was having lots of fun, but in the back of my corporate mind, I couldn't help but think about productivity.” (George Vinall, PC Week, April 24, 1984)

    “Does the mouse make the computer more accessible, more friendly, to certain target audiences such as executives? The answer is no.” (Computerworld, October 31, 1983)

    “There is no possibility that this device will feel more comfortable to the executive than the keyboard. Because of its ‘rollability,’ the mouse has the aura of a gimmick…” (Computerworld, October 31, 1983)

    “The mouse and its friends are merely diversions in this process. What sounds revolutionary does not necessarily help anyone with anything, and therein lies the true test of commercial longevity.” (David A. Kay, Datamation, October 1983)

    And this is about the the input device that people use everyday and say is better than touch, back when the mouse was still a fairly new concept. Windows 95 took better advantage of it, and here we are today.

    Windows 8 takes advantage of touch, we'll see about tomorrow...

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2

    Posts : 454
    Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center

    As I write this message, I can't reach my monitor to touch it. If I could, it would be horribly awkward and smudge my screen. It would not help at all with the vast majority of stuff I do, such as writing this message. None of this is a matter of touch being new and me being a luddite WRT it. It's all a matter of touch being a concept that doesn't work on a PC.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3

    Posts : 299
    win 7 home premium 64 bit

    Quote Originally Posted by crawfish View Post
    As I write this message, I can't reach my monitor to touch it. If I could, it would be horribly awkward and smudge my screen. It would not help at all with the vast majority of stuff I do, such as writing this message. None of this is a matter of touch being new and me being a luddite WRT it. It's all a matter of touch being a concept that doesn't work on a PC.


    It is the utter arrogance to claim that the touch screen can work in a efficient way like the traditional keyboard does and has..since the typewriter.

    I challenge these "enlightened ones" to sit at a workstation and try and type against a touchscreen for hours, forgetting the absence of decent tactile feel, the thought of keeping ones arms raised is simply insane really.

    Lets not forget about the cost involved of these larger desktop touchscreens.

    The whole thing is a farce for laptop and desktop users.

    Unless there is a larger agenda of further dumbing down the masses.

    When you consider what texting has done to the English language both written and verbal (today the spoken word with reasonable use of grammar, and sentences is glaringly absent among younger folks), I can believe that these elite have a bigger agenda afoot.
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  4. #4

    Portsmouth Hants
    Posts : 772
    Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center

    Yeah - I can see Microsoft trying to sell me an on-screen ergonomic keyboard, with nice curvy lines, and a box of moistened and scented Microsoft screenwipes (I had the urge to write quimwipes, I don't know why!) so that I can wipe all the greasy fingermarks off - what is it now? - my worksurface?

    Now we are moving away from windows - what do we call it - splashbacks? Sorry, I have to go and regrout my tiles, with a tube of some fungus resistant stuff from silicone valley.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5

    Posts : 5,360
    7/8/ubuntu/Linux Deepin

    I don't think people say touch is useless.

    It is useful in some situations- like for a small portable device.

    It is not useful when you have the screen in front of you.

    That is all.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6

    Posts : 5,707
    Windows 8.1 Pro

    Now, I'm not talking about the keyboard because the keyboard/typewriter has been around for decades. The mouse came along and isn't even as mature in age as such. The first input method to PCs was the keyboard until the mouse came along. People thought it was cool for some instances but felt it was superfluous in general. Sounds oddly familiar to this day.

    Shoot, even Microsoft discussed that touch cannot work in the traditional Windows Explorer enviornment because it was designed for mouse and keyboard. Much of the criticisms of touch are of that, and I think those complaints are fruitless since those programs are designed for mouse and keyboard and not touch. There is so much untapped potential with designing for touch, Windows 8 will only be the start of that.

    And for productivity, that's different. Back then, when keyboards were mainly used, your boobtube monitor was just a foot or so away from you. As technology progressed on and the mouse was used, your thin LCD monitor is at least two feet or more away from you while you navigate with a mouse pointer. Of course it would be a literal pain to use touch because that's how things have situated themselves.

    Take for example, a touch AIO PC. The optimal way to set it up is to place the keyboard near the edge of a desk, plop a mouse with it if you choose, and put the PC in front of the keyboard so that way the PC's screen is about a foot away from you. Touch input is easier to use.

    Or, if a laptop had a touchscreen, it would be easy to use because you're close to it and touch is easy and in fact, it's fun. It makes sense. But to say touch is irrelevant is somewhat ridiculous since you need to have the optimal touch setup to work with it. A non-touch monitor that's more than an arm length's away from isn't how you do it, and to if you're basing your claims off that; you kind of need to re-evaluate those claims a bit.

    I mean, think about how we got to where we are today with our monitors and our input methods. The mouse was thought to be nothing better or useful at all, but it's one of the ways and the main way we interface with software. Once, our monitors were closer to use than they are today, could you imagine using a PC with a small monitor from 17years ago that was further than arm length's away? I bet not. But we do today. The fact is, things are changing. People are going mobile, people want to use touch and are more attracted to that option. A PC today is evolving as it did in the day of Windows 95. Not only is there a desktop, and a laptop, now there is an ultrabook, the AIO, a tablet, and a slate. Even though all the form factors are totally different from each other, Windows is what unites them all and uses all the different inputs between the different form factors. That to me, is pretty cool.
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  7. #7

    Mostly desk-bound IT guy here. My paws are greasy, dirty things. I will not be touching my primary displays with them, thank you.

    It's not just a matter of changing paradigms; look at how you use a keyboard/mouse combo. See how little movement your arms are actually making? Majority of keypresses is only my fingers twitching, even. That's why we can work long hours at the PC with them.

    The laptop trackpad, now that is a touch interface I can live with. It's small, sits between my hands (below the spacebar key), and using it is usually a simple swipe across with a finger. Barely need to reposition my hand too - bend my elbow a bit to move my hand more over the touchpad, yes, but not actually lifting it off from the desk it's resting on.

    For a long term touch interface to not tire me out it's got to let me get away with similar minimal movement, which likely translates to something lying flat below my hands. Kinda like where the keyboard is. But I can't see through my hands, and damned if I'll need to move my hands away every other gesture to see what I just typed/clicked/swiped. Maybe they could expand that trackpad surface or something. I could work with that.

    I don't doubt touch surfaces are awesome for mobile devices. However, I don't use any - laptops don't count, mine sit on desks and work just like desktops but with the display positioned lower. So they're irrelevant to the majority of my use cases.

    Yes, I would appreciate a tablet with a touch surface for web surfing while taking a dump on the can - a laptop is kinda heavy for that - yes, I do do this - but outside of that? My habits are not going to change (heavy desktop user, nearly no use for mobile devices).
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  8. #8

    Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts : 6,490
    Windows 10 Education 64 Bit

    If I had a say 12 inch touchscreen/Touchpad that I could plop down on my desk in place of my keyboard, I think I could have a lot of fun. A touch screen that you can use as a touch pad, that will display your on screen keyboard on it when you need it. I do believe there are laptops that do this already. Instead of a standard keyboard they have a second custom touch screen.
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  9. #9

    Posts : 5,360
    7/8/ubuntu/Linux Deepin

    Yes, there is case for having both touch and regular keyboard /mouse .

    Use whichever is appropriate for what you are doing at the time.
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  10. #10

    Posts : 651
    Windows 8.1 x64

    I personally do both on my Series 7, depending on what I'm doing. I travel a lot, so the device is perfect - dock and Bluetooth keyboard/mouse when I am fixed for longer periods of time, and portable with touch when I am mobile or home sitting on the couch . Touch has a place, just like a mouse or keyboard does. I personally use a keyboard mostly and a mouse rarely, but I wouldn't say a mouse is a fad or useless just because I can't think of an obvious way in which it's faster than keyboard shortcuts. I simply use the tool for the job - sometimes that's touch, sometimes that's a keyboard, and rarely that's a mouse. They're all useful.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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