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Is the Mouse Dead?

Sometime in the middle of last year Steve Jobs made a statement  that "mouse driven gesture technology is a thing of past". He then went ahead and took several potshots at Adobe causing a worldwide rage on the internet causing people to form base camps. Apple also went ahead and shipped all apple products without flash support. Even the Macs were shipped without Flash support. It was hard for a lot of people, including me to understand the logic behind the statement. It never made sense as most content on web is Flash and I personally don't foresee it to ever cease. So why make the statement? 


This year during the unveiling of the iPad 2, he made several statement and took a lot of potshots on Google, HP, Blackberry and probably everyone. But there were two word that stood out --  "Post-PC era". This again caused the whole internet to go crazy. Even a month and a half back to the press conference, I never got it. 


Eureka Moment
This weekend something happened watching my almost 3 year old daughter. Actually, it's been evident to me from the past 6 months, yet never realized the impact of those statements and words. My daughter has been an avid user of iPhone since she was a year and a half. By two, she knew how to unlock an iPhone, go to YouTube and then in favorites, watch her Elmo and Dora videos. It's a sorry state - but it is also true that a lot of things are much easier to learn on iPhone and iPads. She is also pretty good with Angry birds and she loves it. This weekend, I decided to get her in to paintings on PBS site on my wife's laptop. Some of the "flash" based learning websites are pretty good for kids to learn colors and drawing of their favorite characters. I was trying to teach her how to operate a mouse and then a track pad to paint. I noticed, that most times, her first thought process was to touch the screen to paint the image -- which was startling for me to begin with. She was definitely confused as to how the mouse, and then the track-pad operated. After 5 minutes, she went back to an educational game on iPhone. This is not the first time I noticed this happening. I have hooked my PlayStation3 to a big screen TV and at a lot of times I will play Angry Birds on it. When my daughter is around watching me play, the first intention from her is to touch the TC to play the game! How did I miss this all? Isn't this the exact thing Steve Jobs said?


Some Facts
If you play in the apps like Garage Band and iMovie, one will definitely notice that the hand gestures are the best form of communication with a subject and are precise and natural. Few months back I looked at Oracle CRM and Oracle products on iOS devices and saw the advancement of it's functionality. This is definitely a sign that even bigger companies which primarily are not focused on consumer side of the market are making a play in the touch screen market. 
A study reveals that by 2030, the first experience of net for 80% of the kids would be on tablet and not a PC. Apple sold over 60 million iPod touch devices since it's launch. 108 million iPhones in the last 4 year and around 19 million iPads  in just over a year! This is one company alone. Android has been activating around 350000 android devices a day..a day! That's almost 120 million this year alone! Most of them being touchscreen devices. Last year was the year when smartphone outsold the PC market. That's staggering. And the most important number is that even with this numbers, iPads market share is 0.3% of the world's population. So there is definitely a growth and only one way to go -- Up. 


So is the Mouse Dead?
Mouse will never be completely dead. There are folks who still prefer a feel of keyboard and a mouse to navigate. The same applies for "dumb" phones. it will never die completely -- but what you'll see is the population using them will decrease rapidly. We truly are ushering in to post-pc era.
This generation is in the middle of a huge change and the change is happening at the speed of light or maybe even faster. Paul Valery, a famous French philosopher and poet once said, "Every beginning is a consequence -- and every beginning ends somethings". 
This is a new beginning and somethings will be ended -- sooner or later.





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