Earlier today during its event in San Francisco, Microsoft played a video detailing how its coming Windows 10 operating system will handle a fusion of touch, and more traditional mouse-based input. I filmed a bootleg copy, but Microsoft just published a more polished version, so you are in luck.
Handling both touch and mouse input is a rough line to walk, given that computing form factors are often based with a focus on one form of input more than the other — this is one, of several reasons, why Windows 8 has struggled. Windows 10 will have a focus on both handling standard mouse and keyboard inputs, touch, and everything up and down from smartphones to servers.
Windows 10 is Microsoft’s apparent bid at bringing its platform under a single roof. They are still building it. Don’t expect what you see in the above to break out in tomorrow’s technical preview.
Windows 10 will switch modes depending on how it’s being used. Continuum switches the system behavior depending on what hardware is available, and it will dynamically change the interface paradigm as that hardware changes. So plug the keyboard into your Surface Pro 3 and it’ll switch from touch-oriented to mouse and keyboard-oriented.
If Microsoft can pull this off — today it only showed the shortest of demos — it will have built something approaching a truly flexible operating system that could, perhaps, work from both here to there, and back again. In the Baggins sense, naturally.