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Windows 8 Doubt: 4 Ways To Sway PC People

Here are four scenarios that could turn my Windows 8 desktop doubt into belief.

Windows 8: 8 Big Benefits For SMBs
Windows 8: 8 Big Benefits For SMBs
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I'm a touchscreen PC skeptic.

As a result, I've been hesitant about Windows 8 and its apparent emphasis on touch. That was underscored with the recent reveal of Windows Blue. For a story on the Blue leak, Forrester senior analyst David Johnson told me: "Microsoft clearly wants touch to be a rich, primary way for people to interact with the Windows environment in the future."

With that in mind, I've been thinking about the reasons behind my touch-PC skepticism. I like the touchscreen on my phone. I like it on the iPad and other tablets. So why wouldn't I want it on a laptop or desktop?

One of the answers is actually quite simple: I don't use my laptop and smartphone, my two primary work devices, for the same reasons. Although there's crossover -- I use email on both, for example -- they serve separate purposes. I'm not writing this on my phone, for example. I recognize, though, that my uses are not necessarily your uses. So I got to thinking: What touchscreen PC applications and uses could win me over, if not now then later, when the hardware and software has had time to become more established?

[ I'm a hard sell. Read Windows 8: Why I Won't Upgrade. ]

Note: I'm focused here more on user interface issues than under-the-hood performance. In other words, my focus, like that of most users, is more on "does it work?" rather than "how does it work?" The attention is on touchscreen desktops and laptops, not tablets and smartphones; if it doesn't come with a full-blown keyboard, it doesn't count. There's a gray area in the ultrabook and hybrid categories. Suffice it to say that I'm thinking of hardware that I'm as or more likely to use at my desk than on a plane or train or in the back of a cab.

Bottom line: I'm interested in how touchscreen desktops and laptops might help businesspeople do their jobs better than the non-touch models they're likely still using today, because those reasons aren't readily apparent to me, especially with the current high prices. Below are four scenarios where I can see a touchscreen PC offering an advantage over a non-touch PC. I'm sure I'm missing some advantages, so I'd like to hear why you think touchscreens might work to the benefit of the traditional PC user in the comments section below or via email.

1. Web Browsing.

Like many folks these days, I seem to spend as much of my life online as off. That's particularly true when I'm working. Rare is the hour when there's not a browser window open on my laptop; in actuality, it's multiple browser windows, or at least multiple tabs. Although the Web browser is one of my most frequently used apps on my phone, too, I sometimes find the experience frustrating. That's partly a function of screen size and partly due to the mobile Web's relative immaturity. Occasionally, spotty network service is the culprit.

The browser experience on a touchscreen PC could -- and probably should -- become a big lure given how much time I spend online. This seems especially true as Web development continues to become more sophisticated over time, and as cloud services increasingly become the default setting. Indeed, a CEO I spoke with recently called browsing the Web on her Windows 8 convertible "incredible," even though other aspects of her experience were less than stellar.

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swaypc
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swaypc,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/25/2013 | 11:34:30 AM
Touch screen or not!!
This is what has being happening with Windows throughout the year. A good operating system and a bad one. Recall 2000 then millennium, XP then Vista. Now Windows 7 and 8. Finally they came out with the idea of the start menu, to make it more windows 7 again. To soon to launch a full touch screen Windows OS, users need more transition time.

SwayPC

www.swaypc.com
Palpatine
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Palpatine,
User Rank: Apprentice
4/19/2013 | 7:17:38 AM
re: Windows 8 Doubt: 4 Ways To Sway PC People
Your lack of faith in the Dark side is embarrassing as much as your faith in touch fad.
Why not voice control everything instead of touching things like monkeys?
wht
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wht,
User Rank: Strategist
4/17/2013 | 6:29:17 AM
re: Windows 8 Doubt: 4 Ways To Sway PC People
You understand how it works, most don't seem to be able to grasp that concept. Why is everyone making it so hard, when it isn't! Did you buy sight unseen online, or did your store clerk not help you and explain some basics before you spent your $?
wht
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wht,
User Rank: Strategist
4/17/2013 | 6:25:55 AM
re: Windows 8 Doubt: 4 Ways To Sway PC People
So, that's why you will use a mouse and KB, not a touch screen. You can have a touchpad instead of or in addition to a traditional mouse. Nowhere does MS ever say you have to use touch exclusively.
wht
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wht,
User Rank: Strategist
4/17/2013 | 6:24:11 AM
re: Windows 8 Doubt: 4 Ways To Sway PC People
Finally, someone who has figured out how it really works!
wht
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wht,
User Rank: Strategist
4/17/2013 | 6:23:18 AM
re: Windows 8 Doubt: 4 Ways To Sway PC People
Not many would do that, even if they could, except on a tablet with appropriate software. Not on a desktop or a laptop. You have no idea what you are complaining about, learn how Win 8 really works instead of making crap up.
wht
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wht,
User Rank: Strategist
4/17/2013 | 6:22:06 AM
re: Windows 8 Doubt: 4 Ways To Sway PC People
You don't have to give up your mouse and KB. That's all I use on my Win 8 laptop, not touch enabled (on purpose).
wht
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wht,
User Rank: Strategist
4/17/2013 | 6:20:33 AM
re: Windows 8 Doubt: 4 Ways To Sway PC People
You don't have to have touchscreens or use one even if you have it. Use a mouse or KB commands instead. Get over your resistant mindset and learn how it really works, not being all pissed off about it for no intelligent reason. If you are an IT tech you are embarassing to the IT community.
wht
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wht,
User Rank: Strategist
4/17/2013 | 6:18:05 AM
re: Windows 8 Doubt: 4 Ways To Sway PC People
Dell and Logitech make touchpad mouse pads for PC's for $60 retail. Great even for PC's that are not touchscreen capable.
sbacerra456
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sbacerra456,
User Rank: Apprentice
4/8/2013 | 5:30:35 PM
re: Windows 8 Doubt: 4 Ways To Sway PC People
I have a Windows 8 laptop at home, and I love it. But, THANK GOODNESS, it's not a touchscreen! Instead, the touchpad was widened and all the "touch" gestures can be done on the touchpad, then I can still do the keyboard/mouse thing when I want. That's exactly why I love it. I think Microsoft should stick with the Windows 8 concept (Metro/Desktop interfaces) and make a bluetooth touchpad "remote" for PC users when they want to run Metro. They can then always go back to mouse/keyboard computing when they need to.
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