Let's say a software vendor one day decides that the next release of his software will feature a touch interface, but is meant to run on desktop computers. To be clear, these are today's desktop computers that lack touch-screen monitors which sit an arm's length from your face and are positioned perpendicularly to you.
The software vendor decides the touch screen interface should overlay all other elements of his program, so that users will be confronted by it frequently. Since their screens don't respond to touch, they'll be simulating touch by moving their mouses in unnatural movements, or else memorize lots of keyboard shortcuts to compensate.
Sounds like some software vendor is on the fast track to failure. The Register's Andrew Orlowski explains why Microsoft is like a loser gambler putting up his house, wife, and kids as collateral for one more throw of the dice:
The strategic thinking goes like this: Microsoft needs brute force to coerce a touch-based "ecosystem" into existence, and it's using Windows as the battering ram. Microsoft fears that if it loses "touch" to the iPad and iPhone and Android, then it loses its place in the consumer space altogether.
That, and the built-up internal institutional pouting over Microsoft's other tablet foreys, all failures: 1995's Pen Computing, 1996's WinCe, 2002's TabletPC, and the uglily-named UMPC of 2006.
Mr Orlowski predicts the outfall when Metro is forced on naive consumers to just came home from the local electronics store after picking up another computer:
- Users who have a bad time on Windows 8 aren't going to take a closer look at Windows Phone.
- Enterprises will simply shun the upgrade because there is no benefit to training employees on Metro.
- Microsoft is at least prepared to forgo the revenue that comes from one enterprise Windows upgrade cycle, just to jam Metro into the public consciousness in the long term.
Well, no. Add my prediction to the list: There is no long-term for Metro on the desktop. Microsoft will junk it in about 2x the time it took to junk its billion-dollar investment in the Kin line of cell phones.
A touch screen interface that relies on keyboard shortcut to operate. Brilliant.