Several years ago, Mary Jo Foley and I debated the merits of multitouch displays on laptops. Mary Jo, who’s as set in her ways as anyone with that level of experience should be, wanted nothing to do with it. She argued that multitouch wasn’t just unnecessary on laptops, but undesirable. And I know she went on to specifically seek out laptop models that did not include multitouch displays, something that’s become quite difficult for much of the PC market.
My argument was logical enough: you may not think you want a multitouch display, but its presence on a laptop surely doesn’t hurt you. And you may find, over time, that you adapt to using its touch capabilities from time to time, that multitouch becomes just another way of interacting with the PC, alongside the keyboard and touchpad. For example, many people find it easy and natural to scroll through a document or website they’re reading using the touch screen.