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 Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags touch screensMicrosoft

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

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

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS

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.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?