So Intel are putting their money on touchscreen laptops ahead of Microsoft launching Windows 8 in October. But do we need them? Isn’t a touchscreen laptop just a tablet (or a large mobile phone… Isn’t a tablet also just a large mobile phone)? While these devices have targeted different demographics and corners of the market so far, this next step might take the technologies into murkier areas. We see a few toes being stepped on.
We don’t have all the answers but, interestingly, Microsoft has suggested that the thinking behind Windows 8 is to bridge the gap between mobile and desktop computing, and will be offering the new operating system as an upgrade as well as on their new PCs before the end of the year.
With Apple taking the world by storm with their iOS in 2007 and Windows seeming at times like the less cool older sibling, you might not think this is big news. But with 1.25 billion PCs running some kind of Windows OS, Zach Epstein says we’re now going into the post-post-PC era – and that’s a roundabout way of saying that PCs are back.
However, Epstein reckons that even with the shiny new Windows 8 features, tablets and PCs still serve fundamentally different purposes, so we’re not witnessing an “iPad killer” (yet). But with swipe gestures used to control the screen, apps, and a “convertable slate” that functions as a tablet, desktop and notebook it’s getting more difficult to separate the three.
The conclusion he comes to is that Windows 8 feels like two operating systems fused together rather than the future of PCs/tablets, because these different categories have different needs. Sounds to us like Microsoft is in danger of creating a monster… or at the very least has a bit of an identity crisis going on in Windows 8. But we’re still looking forward to having a play when it hits on 26th October!