Apple's Cook coy on touchscreen Mac

OS X Mountain Lion's reimagined iOS features may have brought Notifications Center and more gestures to the desktop, but Apple CEO Tim Cook is playing coy on whether an actual touchscreen will show up on Macs any time soon. Echoing former CEO Steve jobs dismissal of touchscreen desktop ergonomics, Cook told the WSJ that "this kind of reach for me isn't a terribly intuitive thing" if dealing with a touch-enabled iMac. However, as for touchscreen notebooks, Cook declined to answer.

"Well, our notebooks, I wouldn't want to answer," he said, "because that's sort of a roadmap question, and, you know, we like to be secretive on those things." Although Jobs had been dismissive of all forms of touch notebook and desktop display, Cook seemed more concerned about the poor ergonomics of finger-friendly iMacs.

"Other people have tried that with desktops, and I think to say it hasn't caught traction is probably an understatement of the year" he explained. Whereas, say, an iPhone is "sort of an intimate experience."

Mountain Lion – which we previewed comprehensively yesterday - borrows many of the concepts introduced in iOS 5.0 for the iPad and iPhone and pulls them across to the desktop. As well as synchronizing data using iCloud, there's a new Messages app to replace iChat with iOS-compatible instant messaging, deeper integration of sharing options like Twitter and Vimeo, and Game Center for social gaming.

Touch is expected to play a considerable role in Windows 8 hardware later this year, with Microsoft chasing tablet and touch-enabled notebook/desktop sales with its new OS.