It’s safe to say we’re approaching the top of the technology tree when it comes to mice and keyboards. As apps get richer and interactive devices become more intuitive and ubiquitous, the mouse/keyboard combo is becoming more and more a niche control scheme. It’s like upgrading your zerglings: you can do it as much as you want, but times change and a couple Wraiths can take out the whole lot. Maybe it’s not like that.
Anyway, Gates sees this and suggests that things like the Touchwall (above) are the future of interfaces, and although he has been a proponent of including real support for alternative inputs in things like Windows 7, there’s nothing solid yet.
Of course, the ideas are not new, but Gates and Microsoft have a habit of taking these things to the mainstream, rather by force than anything else.