Saturday, June 4, 2011

First the floppy disk, then the CD drive - now the mouse?

If we look through the last 30 years, we can see how Apple was driving changes. Besides many changes and progressive ideas the most knowledgeable is the dismissing of the floppy disk.

Apple was the first mass-market computer manufacturer to drop the floppy drive with the release of the iMac in 1998. Five years later Dell removed floppy drives from its best-selling Dell Dimension range.

In 1984 the mouse (as an input device) got a lot of traction when Apple released the Apple Macintosh. This was the start of the mouse to get famous. There were other computers before like Lisa or Xerox Park which had a mouse but did not have such a success like the Macintosh.
26 years later Apple started selling the iPad which does not require a mouse. The iPad has a touchscreen which acts as input device.

Apple is selling magic pads desktop computers which is a multiple touch pad to replace the mouse.
We can clearly see the trend, that Apple wants to go away from the mouse and might in the future include the magic pad with their products instead of the mouse.

Already today, most of the Apple notebooks have a build in multiple touch pad which allows to work on the notebook better and faster than with a mouse. And of course all mobile devices have touch screens which function similar like the magic pad.
Apple were in the US the first one who did build smart phones with just a few buttons and no keyboard. The critics were big, but today there are more smart phones sold without keyboard than with it.

Apple started the trend and now Microsoft is following it like Google with Android did.
The video below demos Windows 8 which reminds very strong to Windows Mobile 7, but the most interesting part is that during the presentation no mouse was used.

All done with gestures. Microsoft is saying the OS will work with and without mouse, but when I look at gestures done to navigate through apps, images etc, then I strongly believe using a mouse will very difficult. On the other hand we would not only want to use touch screens, especially when you have two or three screens in front of you. It is like Steve Jobs said, that it is not a comfortable position to touch all the time a straight up screen.

I am pretty sure Microsoft will come with a similar device like the magic pad for their windows PCs.
Give it 4 more years, and most of the people are not using the classic mouse anymore. Input will be either over touch screen, pen tablets, magic pads or air gestures without touching anything.

I grew up with the mouse, and will miss it, but her end is near. In 12 years my son will find a mouse in our attic and will ask me what this is. Like my father asked me 25 years ago what this thing with the button and cable is. It was ahead of his technology knowledge. And it will be behind of my son's technology knowledge.

Every decade has it's term, like baby boomers etc. Maybe we will be know as the mouse movers.

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Location:Spinning Wheel Ln,Brooksville,United States

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