Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 18th Jul 2012 22:41 UTC
Features, Office "On Monday in San Francisco we took the wraps off of the new Office's touch experience designed for Windows 8. We showed the new touch-optimized Windows 8-style app for OneNote, and we showed how we've touch-enabled Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and other apps on the desktop. The new Office is designed for a great experience whether you're sitting on a couch with a tablet, or at a desk with a mouse and keyboard. It makes common tasks fast, fluid, and intuitive, while still enabling the rich capabilities required to create high-quality documents. In this post I'll walk you through the thinking, engineering process and design framework we used to reimagine these experiences for touch."
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RE[4]: Comment by Gone fishing
by Gone fishing on Thu 19th Jul 2012 19:20 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by Gone fishing"
Gone fishing
Member since:
2006-02-22

I can imagine touch screens having specialized uses and CAD could make sense on appropriate hardware but this is MS office word-processing, spreed sheets etc. This just feels like something being hyped up to separate fools from their money with very limited usefulness in general computing.

All that reaching over the keyboard to touch the screen also looks like a recipe for backache.

Edited 2012-07-19 19:22 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[5]: Comment by Gone fishing
by tomcat on Thu 19th Jul 2012 19:47 in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by Gone fishing"
tomcat Member since:
2006-01-06

I can imagine touch screens having specialized uses and CAD could make sense on appropriate hardware but this is MS office word-processing, spreed sheets etc. This just feels like something being hyped up to separate fools from their money with very limited usefulness in general computing. All that reaching over the keyboard to touch the screen also looks like a recipe for backache.


The industry has been moving to mobile form factors that favor touch as a primary input source. But it's probably instructive to point out that Windows Surface is a dual mode device; meaning, it can act as either a tablet or a laptop. If you prefer using a mouse, use it. I think we're going to see a lot more of these same kinds of dual-mode devices. Which provides you with enough flexibility to decide which you like better.

Edited 2012-07-19 19:49 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

Gone fishing Member since:
2006-02-22

I think before you edited your post you wrote that for some computing tasks touch was a more productive way of imputing data to a computer.But what tasks are made easier by touching the screen? I can see its handy on a phone or small mobile iToy but on a computer we are going to use MS Office on what will be improved?

But it's probably instructive to point out that Windows Surface is a dual mode device; meaning, it can act as either a tablet or a laptop


I suppose it makes sense, pad and touch when its being used as a toy and keyboard when its being used as a tool

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[5]: Comment by Gone fishing
by zima on Thu 19th Jul 2012 20:31 in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by Gone fishing"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

I can imagine touch screens having specialized uses and CAD could make sense on appropriate hardware but this is MS office word-processing, spreed sheets etc.

Sure, Office specifically is largely built around keyboard, but there still could be some good uses of touch - maybe quick drawing in OneNote, or as part of making a Powerpoint presentation, or "manually" modifying layout of Word document (yes, people should use automatic layout tools and styles, absolutely ...unfortunately, they don't do that, they micromanage formatting - so maybe doing it by hand will end up less horrible). Who knows how we might blend it - don't discard the touch outright, it's not like we would really adapt something which doesn't work, that's not an issue - but exploring new possibilities is a good thing (at worst they don't work out).

You know, it was quite popular to dismiss GUI and mouse for serious work, not a long time ago.

"That reaching over the keyboard" largely also depends on the overall layout of workplace (the drawing boards were usually tilted; generally, it doesn't seem particularly bad when I "try" it with the most popular kind of PC form-factor, laptop, where screen is right behind kb - supporting the elbow on the table right before the keyboard seems like it might be OK, for semi-frequent blended use)

Reply Parent Score: 2

Dr.Mabuse Member since:
2009-05-19

I can imagine touch screens having specialized uses and CAD could make sense on appropriate hardware but this is MS office word-processing, spreed sheets etc. This just feels like something being hyped up to separate fools from their money with very limited usefulness in general computing.

All that reaching over the keyboard to touch the screen also looks like a recipe for backache.


It makes much less sense than you might imagine. Serious CAD users have two input devices - the Spaceball, which allows the user to simultaneously rotate and zoom on a given part, and the mouse to select and perform operations. In other words, multiple inputs requiring both hands, driving many buttons and quite a bit of experience and expertise to drive it all properly.

I *cannot* for life of me see touchscreens as a replacement.

It can perhaps augment it in some scenarios, but as a replacement it would be a serious backwards step. Would you operate it with the screen in front of you? Or would it be lying down on the table? Both are ergonomic nightmares.

It seems to me that some people perceive mobile platform technologies (particularly touchscreens) as a panacea to all prior computer interface evils. IMHO, it will probably settle in as the preferred way for browsing the net and/or other "casual user" computer uses. I just don't see it as the all encompassing future that some do.

I do like the touchscreen for drawing however, an Android tablet with the Sensubrush and SketchBookX is great fun. I'm still not sure if it's better than my Wacom tablet for accuracy though!

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[6]: Comment by Gone fishing
by zima on Wed 25th Jul 2012 23:59 in reply to "RE[5]: Comment by Gone fishing"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

You still can't imagine? OK... secondary hand grabs (rotates, pinches to zoom - we know already how nice this is on touch) outside of the object / active area, primary hand selects and manipulates. And the best part: you can have, on top of a touchscreen, physical "drawing instruments" (imagine all of this on a surface-like tech, the table kind) - plus, it might as well be a synthesis with spaceball at hand, why not.

Really, there are plenty people still often utilising drawing boards, dissatisfied with pure CAD (but I guess you'd just dismiss them as not being "serious" CAD users...); having a drawing on the table or board (often at an angle, believe it or not - vertical and horizontal are not the only possibilities) is not an "ergonomic nightmare" at all. They could like touchscreens ...also (all of those methods do not exclude each other)

Snap out of this "the present way is the best way"

Edited 2012-07-26 00:18 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2