More than 50 percent of PCs for the under-15 set will have touchscreen---think Apple iPad---but corporate adoption will be slow, according to research firm Gartner.
Why the difference? Corporations will have to integrate touchscreen PCs and multitouch devices with applications---SAP, Oracle, supply chain software etc. ---that were developed for the mouse and keyboard. In other words, it's the age-old "legacy" conundrum. New technologies look great until you realize there's no business case to throw out the old systems.
And since there are few corporations that have green field development ahead of them multitouch adoption in the enterprise will be a multi-year (probably decade) endeavor. Gartner expects that fewer than 10 percent of PCs sold to the enterprise in 2015 will have touchscreens.
According to Gartner:
The earliest adopters of touch-enabled devices will be consumers who rarely deal with legacy issues. They will be looking for entertainment and casual gaming applications. Gartner predicts that iPhone and touch-enabled smartphone users will want to extend the multitouch experience to their PC computing. iPad and the overwhelming majority of slate, tablet and touch-enabled convertible devices planned for 2010 will have a consumer focus.
Some industries---healthcare, retail and restaurants---will move to touchscreens, but they will be the exception.
In other words, touch screen devices will remain all fun and games since the enterprise needs a lot of typing and text. However, the corporate world will have to get on the touchscreen bandwagon at some point. Gartner predicts that the education market will be one of the biggest markets to touch devices. Those touchscreen happy students will eventually be your workers.
Also: Apple iPad: Is there an ROI for business? [podcast]