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Shock: Windows 8 optimized for desktop tablets

Mike Elgan | June 4, 2011
Why the default user interface for desktop Windows 8 looks a lot like Microsoft's Windows Phone 7.

Apple's strategy for overcoming resistance was to launch an entirely new device, rather than immediately replace an existing platform with a new one. Apple's MPG (multitouch, physics and gestures) interface was first used on Apple's first-ever cell phone. Because the entire device category was brand new to Apple, the company didn't ask users of existing Apple products to do things differently. The company's strategy is to start small and move up the food chain - first phones, then tablets, then multi-touch laptop and desktop touchpads, then desktops, which we'll see no doubt this year or next.

What we learned this week is that Microsoft has come up with an entirely different solution to the problem of user resistance to change: Microsoft intends to get us all using a touch interface with mice and keyboards first.

By the time we get used to doing that, we'll be happy to get rid of the peripheral hardware and just use our desktops like iPads, touching the screen directly. It will be the same interface, but much better because we'll be able to use multi-finger gestures and because we'll enjoy the innate psychological payoff of using an MPG device.

I think Microsoft's strategy is brilliant. I had all but written off Microsoft as clueless about the future of touch computing. But the company's latest demo changes everything.



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