If you haven’t seen this yet, it’s a clip taken from yesterday’s press event for the new Microsoft tablet. Dude launches Internet Explorer to show us around the browsing experience, but the thing immediately locks up. It’s not just slow but completely frozen, and after about 20 seconds when he realizes that he’s not going to be able to demo anything else he has to go swap it out for another device to get on with the presentation. Awkward!

Anyway, there’s so many things that we (the royal we) want to rip on here. But I started thinking about how many times in a week I experience something similar on my iPad. I can’t remember the last time it completely froze on me, but the UI isn’t as snappy as it once felt.

I started thinking - is it because the touch UI is supposed to be simulating doing something tactilely - actually touching an icon and moving it with your finger - that this is so annoying? With a computer, you have this interface - the keyboard and the mouse or whatever - that still provides a mental buffer between you and the screen. If it gets unresponsive it’s definitely annoying, but not anything like tapping an icon on the screen and getting the computer equivalent of “huh? what? me?“.

I know we’ve only started to scratch the surface (pun intended) of alternative ways of interacting with computing devices, but seriously - responsiveness of the UIs we already have has got to be a front burner issue. You really want to blow me away Apple? Make iOS 6 not turn my 3GS into an unusable brick, thereby forcing me to upgrade an otherwise perfectly good phone.