Which brings me to the question of what it is allowed to be and
hence what it is. It cannot take on the role of being the future.
That belongs to the touch screen devices. It will not morph into a
touch device any more than a teen’s parent will become cool by
putting on skinny jeans. What it will do is become better at what
it is hired to do.
The key to the Mac therefore becomes that which the iPad/iPhone
isn’t: an indirect input device. The keyboard and mouse/trackpad
are what define the Mac. The operating system, the apps, the UX,
are all oriented around the indirect input method. The iPhone’s
capacitive touch brought about the direct input method, a third
pivot in input methods (first was mouse, second trackpad/scroll
wheel). Each pivot launched a new set of platforms and the Mac is
the legacy of the second.
It’s not obsolete but it is a decreasing share of engagement.
Alternate ways of doing the jobs it does well with direct input
are emerging on the third pivot but they are not yet good enough.
The children are still adolescent and making lots of stupid
mistakes. There’s still life in the parents.
“It will not morph into a touch device any more than a teen’s parent will become cool by putting on skinny jeans” is the best analogy I’ve heard in a long time. That’s exactly what touchscreen support on Windows feels like.