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Fingerprints everywhere! Are we ready for 4 million dirty Windows 8 touchscreens?

Mark Sullivan | Oct. 17, 2012
When multitudes of Windows 8 users start playing with newly purchased hardware in the coming weeks and months, they'll encounter an indignity that once afflicted only smartphone and tablet users: dirty, smudgy, fingerprint-riddled touchscreens.

Perhaps this is because such PCs arent quite mainstream enough to warrant their own line of screen protectors, or because the touch displays are easy enough to keep clean with basic household glass cleaners or good old distilled water.

TouchWindow makes a series of touchscreen overlays and protective films for desktop monitors, as does, and these overlays will reduce fingerprints, but at a costyour beautiful display might look less polished and dull. If you prefer the crisp look of the display, it might just be easier to clean it every once in awhile.

Touchscreen history

The first mobile phone with a capacitive touchscreenone that responded to touch instead of a styluswas the LG Prada, which debuted in 2006. Touchscreen phones soon because the norm, starting with the original iPhone in 2007. Capacitive touch tablets didnt become popular until 2010, and although commercial touchscreen PCs have been around since the 1980s (like the HP-150 that came out in 1983), they became more widespread around 2007 with the introduction of all-in-one touchscreen TVs.

Younger users have grown up with touchscreen devices. Even if theyre not using the devices themselves, this type of navigation is ever present, from point-of-sale cash register systems to self checkout registers at the grocery store, flight check-in kiosks at the airport, ATMs, childrens toys, TV remotesand of course, tablets, mobile phones, e-readers, and handheld video game consoles like the PSP and Nintendo DS. Kids are used to touching stuff, as so many of their everyday screen products have a touch-based interface.

So, for these youngsters, touching a desktop monitor or a laptop display probably doesnt seem like a big deal. Where some of us are a little hesitant to just reach out and swipe across a computer monitor, others embrace it.


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