I find it hard to imagine we will be plugging away at these cumbersome computers for that much longer, at least not for casual usage.
It is noticeable that Mac OS X and related apps are moving to user interface paradigms that will work much better than conventional UIs on (touch controlled?) TVs and multi-touch tablets.
Some examples of this growing trend:
- Front row started it really
- Several Apple apps with full screen modes. Especially the new quicktime X and its large transport buttons, iTunes/Front row with Coverflow, iPhoto with multitouch trackpad support
- The new exposé screen layout, touchpad gesture and per-app exposé
- Spaces – something that will prove MUCH more useful if every application is full screen, and effectively each Space is a single Application. Then Exposé sort of becomes the current spaces “zoom out”
- Safari “Top sites” is, in my opinion, clearly targetted at touch (tablet) displays.
- iTunes LP media format
- This is the big one – iTunes “Home Sharing”. This is required to solve the problem of your TV/tablet as a media purchase platform. You will typically buy content at home on a TV/tablet and then expect it to be on your laptop and hence iPod.
So I expect, within a few years, for us to see a new paradigm at least for TV and tablets where apps run full screen and you swipe to switch application… and wonderfully simple UIs as a result.
If we can only do away with the keyboard, we might finally be rid of these rather old fashioned apps with lots of menus and shortcuts and yada yada.