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Windows 7 everywhere, But Barely a Screen to Touch



We have been hearing a lot about all the new touch-enabled PCs coming to market in tandem with Windows 7, but you’ll have to look far and wide if you want to try one out for yourself. I spent most of the weekend touring computer retailers in New York and Washington DC and touch was pretty hard to come by.

Since retailers like Best Buy, Staples and Office Depot generally reserve shelf space for high-volume units I’m not entirely surprised at the lack of relatively expensive touch enabled PCs, but I am disappointed. I do like HP’s TouchSmart desktop and tablet, but I wish consumers are offered more options.

Most of the retail locations had an HP TouchSmart all-in-one on display. A few had the HP Pavilion TX2 convertible on display. And some stores, including a Best Buy location in Manhattan, didn’t have a single touch enabled PC on display.

Microsoft, and the entire industry for that matter, has put a lot of money and energy into promoting Windows 7’s touch capabilities.I can barely go a day without receiving a press release from a company announcing that it’s added touch or multi-touch to its computers. I think consumers actually need to experience the touch computing hands-on before they make the investment in a relatively expensive touch enabled machine.

Education is still a major hurdle to selling touch enabled PCs at retail. The in-store staff didn’t seem to know much about Windows 7’s touch features or HP’s touch applications. While GottaBeMobile readers are more than familiar with the benefits of touch computing, the average computer shopper has never considered paying extra for the feature.



  1. Tim

    10/27/2009 at 5:59 pm

    You do have to bear in mind that planograms for the stores (aka, the shelving layout and models carried) is based on a 3 or 6 month schedule. While that 3/6 months generally ends around now, the point is that many stores won’t have gotten the products they will be displaying going forward yet. When a company announces a product, very rarely does it appear in retail the next day or even the next week.

  2. Xavier Lanier

    10/27/2009 at 6:03 pm

    @Tim, I completely understand your point, but there were a ton of recently-announced PCs w/ Win 7 on store shelves already. Unfortunately, I don’t think the big retailers are going to push touch-enabled PCs in favor of cheaper models.

  3. Tim

    10/27/2009 at 11:48 pm

    Oh admittedly there’s no way the retail sector shuts out the low cost inventory. What we need is low cost touch computing, where we pay roughly the same price for a standard desktop/monitor/notebook + some number less than $200 for the touch capability.

    Of course that 200 depends on the model, on things that are normally 400, we really need items costing ~500 with the same specs but with touch.

    The other problem is that the average consumer sees touch as a gimmick/fad atm, not something productive. And truth be told, for most applications that we’ve just seen released, I have to agree with them, especially when the price differential is factored in. Working at Office Depot, everyone always looks at the TouchSmart AIO, finds it fun, but would never pay a $500-700 markup for the AIO design and a touch panel that honestly will not be the primary source of input.

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