Microsoft boss Bill Gates signals end of the computer mouse


Windows 7 aims to build on the success of the touch screen systems developed by Microsoft’s rival Apple’s iPhone.

Microsoft users will issue commands by touching the screen rather than by the traditional keyboard and mouse combination, which has dominated since the 1970s.

Windows 7 is due to be released in 2010 and is Microsoft’s attempt to catch-up with Apple, whose handheld iPhone has proved exceptionally popular.
Touch screens are appearing on a host of devices including sat-navs, cell phones and remote controls. A touch screen blackberry is expected shortly.

At a conference in Canda this week, Bill Gates, Microsoft’s billionaire chairman, said: “The way you interact with the system will change dramatically.”

Mr Gates added that computer users of the future will interact with their machines by voice and pen as well as touch.

Some experts have questioned how practical a mouse-less computer would be.

They suggest that typing skills would be abandoned and users would have to lean forward and repeatedly lift their arms to manipulate images on the screen.

“With a PC you’d have to lift your arm every time, and with a screen that’s 17 inches wide that’s going to become more difficult,” said Roberta Cozza, an analyst at Gartner, an IT research company.

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