Nov 1, 2016 — by: Mark Reschke

Smudgy_laptopsTouching notebook screens is a lazy solution to a problem that never existed. During last week’s Apple special event, where the company launched a new MacBook Pro lineup, not single mention was made about notebook touch displays, yet Apple showed it is a truly ridiculous solution.

During Apple’s MacBook Pro unveiling, Phil Schiller, Apple VP of Worldwide Marketing, showed off an expansive Force Touch trackpad and an industry-first technology, which Apple calls Touch Bar. The technology duo is causing many to rethink why touching a notebook display was thought to be a good idea, while others are starting to consider touching a notebook display as another failing Microsoft technology.

As a longtime MacBook user, watching Microsoft push the notion that touching a notebook display for interface sake always seemed rather confusing. If you’ve used a MacBook for any length of time you'll have quickly learned the accuracy and efficiency of Apple’s trackpads. The additional capabilities built into Apple’s latest Force Touch tradpads eliminates virtually any need to touch the display. On the other hand, PC laptop trackpads are generally cheap, small, horrific devices, most struggle to effectively use. It's no wonder most everyone I see using a Windows laptop uses an external mouse to get things done. Touching a Windows laptop display makes sense because cheap PC’s deliver horrible tradpad solutions, and Microsoft can't control those cheap-is as cheap-does products. But this does not mean touching a laptop's display is a good solution, it simply means it is a cheaper, more gimmicky route to an ends, compared to fixing the actual problem — poorly, and cheaply built PC trackpads.

Apple’s all-new Touch Bar is another well thought out technology that is likely to be used on a regular basis, making it the go-to shortcut tool for Apple notebooks. The Touch Bar invention is impressive and it will not be easily or quickly replicated by PC vendors, due to both cost and lack of Microsoft support for bargain versions that will likely flood the market over the next few years.

Of course, who wants to reach out and touch their notebook display? I clean my iPhone display about 4 or 5 times a day and it's a nuisance. Using my MacBook and watching it get dirty over the course of a few days, even without touching it, is enough to cause me to clean it — and I am not obsessive about such things either. Microsoft is not likely to copy Apple any time soon. Rather, the software giant which is turning into a wanna-be a Apple, is likely to continue pushing Surface Pro as a MacBook competitor, when it is really an iPad Pro rival. Apple has designed and delivered the right touch technologies for notebooks. Microsoft? Smudge away. Once again, they didn't get it right. What’s new?

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  1. James ~ Nov. 1, 2016 @ 1:14 pm

    I disagree. It was Microsoft that made them look stupid with an interface that was poor for both touch and cursor. They are an ergonomic nightmare and waste a lot of time. I find in ironic that while people are going on about Apple removing old style USB ports with ports that support it with just the right cable (no dongle required) and are eight times faster than any port on the Surface Studio. That's right, look it up. The Surface Studio is supposedly aimed at the pro market but has nothing faster than USB 3. Thunderbolt 3 has been on PCs for months and even my four year old iMac has IO that is twice as fast. #
  2. Alan ~ Nov. 2, 2016 @ 8:04 am

    you lost me, James. Is it Microsoft themselves that make themselves looks stupid or is Microsoft making Apple looks stupid??? #
  3. Mack The Knife ~ Nov. 2, 2016 @ 2:56 pm

    I disagree as well. the touch bar is gimmicky and I give it only 1 or 2 generations before it's gone. apple has got to stop avoiding touch screen mac books and go with what has worked for two of their biggest products ever, iPhone and iPad. if Apple doesn't start to innovate, continues to make proprietary technology, and alienates their customer, the will go the way of Sony. #
  4. RE: Mack The Knife ~ Nov. 2, 2016 @ 10:07 pm

    First. I should think you need - everyone does - to use the Touch Bar to see if it really ads value or not. Just saying it without using it for a few days? That's just a guess, a slanted one at best. Second. As for touchscreen, I've never had any reason to touch the screen instead of using the trackpad on my MacBook Pro, never. iPad does touch really well as that what it's meant to do. A desktop OS? No. No. No. If you want a touch screen laptop go over to Windows and have fun cleaning your screen all day, because it sucks. I know. #
  5. James ~ Nov. 4, 2016 @ 12:43 pm

    @Alan I meant that Microsoft made touchscreens stupid with a poorly designed interface that tries to meets the needs of a tablet OS and a desktop OS but does neither very well. That said, vertical touch screens are fine for a bank machine or appliance but for a laptop or desktop they are already stupid. Its unergonomic and innefficient. Its too slow. After setting up my customized trackpad with BetterTouchTool, using something like a vertical touch screen or even Siri is several steps back and unbearably slow. #
  6. Dmitriy ~ Nov. 7, 2016 @ 1:57 pm

    APPL stock will tell #

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