Apple to mouse: ‘We brought you into this world, and we can take you out’

“You’re probably using a mouse today, but you may never buy one again. All the planets are aligning against this humble pointing device,” Mike Elgan writes for Datamation.

“The computer mouse has long been associated with the PC, but in fact it was invented during the Kennedy administration (in 1963) by Silicon Valley engineers Douglas Engelbart and Bill English,” Elgan writes.

“The mouse was nothing but a lab rat until the Xerox Star shipped in 1981. Though it was the first time anyone could buy a mouse, few did. The Star was overpriced ($16,000) and poorly marketed. The IBM PC came out that year, too — without a mouse. But when the Apple Macintosh hit in January of 1984, the mouse went mainstream and has been with us ever since,” Elgan writes.

Elgan continues, “Now, Gartner analyst Steve Prentice says the mouse’s dominance as the leading pointing devices may be over within 2 to 4 years. And I tend to agree. Several recent developments are slowly changing — or threaten to change — our mouse habit.”

1. Apple’s giant trackpad with multi-touch
2. Gaming pointing devices
3. “Brain-reading” devices
4. Apple iPhone and the “iPhone Killers”

Elgan writes, “I’m confident that Apple will take advantage of its many patents for ‘multi-touch’ systems and ship an iPhone-like version of Mac OS within the next year or two… So take the time to savor every point and every click. It won’t last. The mouse is as good as dead.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The Macintosh uses an experimental pointing device called a “mouse.” There is no evidence that people want to use these things. – John C. Dvorak, Feb 1984

[Thanks to Bill Cosby for inspiring the headline.]

79 Comments

  1. @ Jay-Z… Exactly on point.

    The mouse is so popular because it requires so little effort to move around and interact with the screen. And people with disabilities will still favor a trackball.

    I can’t see HP’s new touch computer doing very well either. Anyone who has used an iPhone knows all that flicking and scrolling gets tiresome after awhile. Do that on a bigger screen and you have a recipe for a real workout (not that there’s anything wrong with that… but some people use their computers for relaxation).

    Trackpads will have to likely emulate a mouse better if they’re going to supplant it.

  2. I’m all about touch, my hands have suffered enough under the repetitious clicks of the mouse. Touch is organic and natural and the future of UI and only apple can do it right.
    Bring it!

  3. “Apple’s sales are in decline because I know more than any of you. I don’t have to prove it. You do.”

    No, fanboi, Apple does. Sales data for publicly owned companies are not state secrets. However, if you know where these data are located, please share.

    Please no more links to Apple’s PR unit aka Apple’s Ministry of Propaganda aka Department of Fibs, Exaggerations, Concoctions, Errors, and Shams (F.E.C.E.S.).

  4. Track pads give me serious problems in my wrists and hands over time. I tried converting to a track pad many years ago, and after about six months the doctor was recommending that I have an operation. I’m all for doing something other than mouses – I’ve been using a trackball for many years and find it to be an overall improvement over a standard pick-up-and-put-down mouse.

  5. Maybe the mouse will RIP sometime, but not yet awhile.

    Mice and/or pens have better ergonomics than multi-touch for repetitive jobs, particularly graphics intensive programs like Quark and Photoshop.

  6. Macromancer: Ape arm is definitely a problem. But there are interactive displays being developed for quick information retrieval or games that have better possibilities.

    http://www.technologyreview.com/Infotech/20987/

    A Display That Tracks Your Movements
    Samsung and Reactrix move beyond touch screens and try to make hand waving the next big computer interface.”

    “These displays can “see” people standing up to 15 feet away from the screen as they wave their hands to play games, navigate menus, and use maps.”

  7. wow Ampar, first pre-emptive strike i have ever seen that a) hit the right target and b) ended the fight before it began. nice.

    “Touch computing is vastly different than traditional computing. Imagine sitting at your desk touching your screen instead of using a keyboard and mouse… Your arms would be tired in minutes”

    so if the people who say this can see that touch is so different from traditional, why do they immediately assume you will be using touch in a traditional way?

    “No, fanboi, Apple does. Sales data for publicly owned companies are not state secrets. However, if you know where these data are located, please share.

    Please no more links to Apple’s PR unit aka Apple’s Ministry of Propaganda aka Department of Fibs, Exaggerations, Concoctions, Errors, and Shams (F.E.C.E.S.).”

    so lets get this straight, what he says doesn’t matter, cause he isn’t Apple. what Apple says doesn’t matter, cause it lies, so provide Apples sales data without getting it from Apple, but it can’t be from someone else……

    yeah, and Ampar is the nutcase around here. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”gulp” style=”border:0;” />

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.