Why do I need Windows 7 & what exactly is wrong with a mouse ?

Microsoft have announced details today of the next version of Windows, called simply Windows 7 but it will probably get a fancy name before its release.

So why do we need a newer version of Windows ? Well I am asking that myself. I upgraded to Vista some months ago as I was having some problems with networking and sharing files in XP and Vista has done everything I have asked of it easily and without fuss, and more importantly without glitches and crashing.

Well apparently Windows 7 uses touch screen technology, and demo of it in action can be seen on the BBC website. Essentially, you will (with the right hardware) be able to do to a computer what you can already do with an Apple iphone (no, I don't mean take poor pictures and rely on very slow downloads). That's great surely ? Well no.

The problem is that touch technology is good when it replaces something that is awkward or slow. So having touch technology on a phone is great because your phone does not have a mouse and using a keyboard for some functions can be awkward. But with a computer a mouse is just what is needed. A mouse is pixel perfect, a mouse is very responsive and what's more, unlike the end of my finger, it is precise. I like sitting two feet away from my monitor but I don't want to have to lean across my desk to touch my screen all the time.

It's odd that when Nintendo have created the Wii-mote (their Wii controllers) which in effect act like a mouse in terms of responsiveness and the ability to use them away from the screen with precision, that Microsoft feel the need to go for touch screen when there simply isn't a need.

Microsoft say that Windows 7 will be out in 2009 or 2010, which in Microsoft talk means 2011 or 2012, so I guess it won't be an immediate concern. However, it does seem that Microsoft are rattled by Linux open source operating systems and are trying to put clear blue water between Windows and Linux. But in my opinion they are trying too hard. Too much clear blue water could leave them in to deep water.


Anonymous said...

I'm still happy with my XP. I certainly don't want a touch screen computer.

Paul Pinfield said...

Nich, I disagree with you about this technology. I am using it now.

I use an iPhone, which as you know is controlled through a gestural interface. It feels so natural that I can't imagine using any other phone.

Apple are expanding the gestural interface to their MacBook line. They are also currently hiring engineers to develop screen based gestural interfaces.

The work that Apple and Microsoft are doing now will revolutionise computing. As soon as Apple release a gestural laptop, I will be at the front of the que...

Time to embrace the future Nich. Remember the bad old days of DOS and UNIX terminals?

You might want to watch this tech demo: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=4375330965265421463&q=gestural+interface+demo&ei=TME9SKrSJZKgjQLG_pTeAw

Norfolk Blogger said...

Paul, I actually make the point that I can see the practical uses of touch screen for a phone. However, I have a gestural interface for my computer already. It's a mouse.

I also have a touch screen whiteboard at school and sometimes I much prefer to use a mouse as fingers are so imprecise for certain things because my finger has no point on the end of it (and I have very wide fingers).

Paul Pinfield said...

Nich, Bah humbug...

Anonymous said...

I think its a great idea. When an image ogf GB appears on the screen I will actually be able to pick Brown's nose for him.

Norfolk Blogger said...

Ahh, but the temptation might be to physically assault your monitor if you knew the image of Gordon Browen would responde to your actions.

jmb said...

All those nasty fingerprints all over the screen! No thank you.

I'm with you on the mouse although I look back at how reluctant I was when they first came out. Every mouse advance made I have been the first to buy one. When I first bought a laptop I lasted about a day with the stupid touchpad and then ran to get a wireless optical mouse.

I'd like to get a new laptop but don't want all the supposed headaches of Vista. Most people complain about it bitterly and many reverted to XP, so interesting that you have had no problems.