Posts Tagged 'robin bloor'

Touchscreen won’t kill the mouse… [or will it?]

I’ve really not been keeping up with what Microsoft are doing in UI design, although as the owner of an HTC Windows Mobile PDA/Phone thingy, I have a passing interest. I also sometimes look longingly on at iPhone users who swish their fingers around and do funky things, while on my HTC phone, apart from the contacts application, my finger basically just replaces the mouse. Still, I have my work calendar, address book, journal/notes, task list and more syncronised on my HTC phone!

In my post of the other day, I bemoaned the fact that creating slides and moving objects around even in the latest PowerPoint, really hasn’t changed much since Freelance under DOS, and even it had some neat features not found in todays PowerPoint for selecting, moving, duplicating and aligning objects.

It was with some interest then that I just spotted Robin Bloors commentary via his twitter stream, on Bill Gates latest claim that Touchscreen will kill the mouse. Robin is probably more right than Bill, but either way, hopefully creating objects, grouping them, moving the around on the screen and aligning them will get much easier. I’m all for that.

The chances of me still using Microsoft products by then, remote.

[Update] I’ve been giving some more thought to Robins argument, I do think he is right. However, I also think there is a reasonable alternative, at least one I could use. At home I use a draftsmans table as a desk. You know, one of those ones that sits up at an angle. Using my laptop on it, with a large external monitor for the extended desktop contain mostly the windows I’m not currently working on, IM clients, my calendar etc. works out ergonomically quite good.

I could see replacing the laptops sit up screen with a touch sensitive display of somesort, along with either a visual touch keyboard, perhaps projected onto the desktop; or a standard keyboard. I think that would work out fine, no mouse.

However, on a traditional flat desk it would be no use at all. Rather than having to hold your arms up all the time, you’d spend the day with your chin on your chest, not ideal for the neck. Still, I’m sure someone could resolve that, ergonomic touch screen stand anyone ?


About & Contact

I'm Mark Cathcart, formally a Senior Distinguished Engineer, in Dells Software Group; before that Director of Systems Engineering in the Enterprise Solutions Group at Dell. Prior to that, I was IBM Distinguished Engineer and member of the IBM Academy of Technology. I'm an information technology optimist.


I was a member of the Linux Foundation Core Infrastructure Initiative Steering committee. Read more about it here.

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