Microsoft executive sees rise of tablets, 'room computer'

The touch-controlled PCs Microsoft has long promoted could see their 'day of glory,' he said

Technology that changes how people give commands to computers could make touch-based PCs more popular and transform the traditional desktop into a "room computer" in coming years, a Microsoft executive said Wednesday.

The touch-controlled tablet PCs Microsoft has long promoted could see their "day of glory" in the next few years as people get used to controlling computers just as they would a touchscreen phone, Craig Mundie, Microsoft's research head, said in an interview.

"The cost and weight of that class of computer is now dropping," Mundie said. "The ability to comfortably hold them and operate them with your other hand will just be a lot better than it has been in the last few years, when they were still a bit too bulky."

Microsoft's Windows 7 OS will offer touch and multitouch control options suited for tablets.

Touchscreens, along with input methods such as speech or gestures, could also become common in desktops as computer displays expand to tabletops and walls, Mundie said. Such a change would draw on rising computing power, improving display technologies and Microsoft research in areas like voice recognition and machine vision, he said.

Any surface in a living room or office could be used as a computer screen in several years, said Mundie. An office worker might, for example, initiate a phone call by speaking or gesturing to a whiteboard or physical desk surface with an embedded display. The worker could freely write or project images on either screen.

"The desktop machine will evolve into a completely different category," Mundie said. "I tend to think of it more as the room computer, as opposed to the desk computer."

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags touch screensMicrosoft

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Owen Fletcher

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?