I’m taking a breather in the CES Blogger Lounge and trying to collect some thoughts without spilling hot coffee on my lap. Although I haven’t been here long or seen too much, there’s definitely a common theme that keeps recurring. Unlike the other trade show in town, the trend here is that it’s OK to touch. Meaning more touch interfaces on all types of devices, but of course, on mobile computers in particular.
Although we haven’t heard the Microsoft keynote from Steve Ballmer yet, I suspect that computer makers are gearing up for the multi-touch features we already know are coming in Windows 7. And from my perspective, that’s something that really didn’t happen with Vista. Sure, the computers earned their “Vista-capable” and “Vista-ready” badges of honor over the past two years, but it really felt like a forced effort. This year feels different so far. What I’m hearing and seeing is more of an embracing of the features, not a required adaptation. While that doesn’t guarantee anything, it bodes well for a product’s success. More to follow throughout the week, but I wanted to share this general thought now. I still believe that touch by itself doesn’t add value: it’s in the implementation, functionality support and ergonomics where it shines.