A truly bizarre piece over at the BBC in which one of the mindless, overpaid tape worms of the electronics leviathan (who else? an industry analyst) provocatively opines that we're only three to five years away from the complete eradication of the computer mouse.
Then he contradicts himself in the next sentence:
"The mouse works fine in the desktop environment but for home entertainment or working on a notebook it's over," declared analyst Steve Prentice.
Okay, so people will no longer be using a mouse to control their DVD players. An astute analysis worthy of your $500-an-hour fee, Mr. Prentice. Well done. And notebooks have had trackpads for the last decade, and trackpads are only arguably mice. I follow your hyperintelligence-forged chain of logic. But, wait a second... by your own admission, the mouse still works fine for its intended platform: home computers. So are you saying home computers will die within five years?
Well, no, he's not saying that at all. Or, at least, the BBC didn't bother asking him how the mouse can go wholly extinct within half-a-decade when, by Prentice's own admission, it is still the optimal interface for PCs.
I mean, he's got a point: we're going to start seeing more multi-touch capable displays coming out over the next few years. But these aren't likely to replace mice, only creatively supplement them. The mouse: dead? It's not even wheezing yet.
Basically, for the mouse to die, someone either needs to come up with a simpler, more intuitive way to control PCs, or PCs have to die out. And they may, as people become more and more dependent on laptops and mobile phones. But pointing to devices that have never used mice as their primary input control (he even named Guitar Hero!) isn't proof of jack squat.
But this is business as usual in the world of market analysts. As Rob points out, "if analysts were ever right, they wouldn't be analysts. They'd be consultants."