In the seven months since launch, Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows 8 has been off to a sluggish start, with global PC sales plunging in the first quarter. There's some good news, though: IHS DisplayBank estimates that 10% of the 46 million laptops sold in the first quarter were touchscreen models. Consumers thus far have been faced with a tough trade-off between price and the desire for a touchscreen, but adoption may be beginning.

The data undermines the long-standing view that touchscreen laptops quickly lead to arm fatigue, which is the approach that rival Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) has taken. Apple may never release a touchscreen MacBook. Search giant Google (NASDAQ:GOOGL) has also bet on touchscreen laptops with its premium Chromebook Pixel.

In the following video, Fool contributor Evan Niu, CFA, wonders whether Microsoft and Google can prove Apple wrong.

Fool contributor Evan Niu, CFA, owns shares of Apple. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Apple, Google, and Microsoft. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.