Windows 7 to bring multi-touch support

Microsoft plans to push multi-touch interfaces in a big way with Windows 7. At the Wall Street Journal’s All Things Digital conference yesterday evening, Microsoft discussed some of the progress it has made on its next operating system, and it showed the multi-touch functionality in action. Behold:

Windows 7 won’t be the first Microsoft product to implement multi-touch features. Nearly a year ago today, Microsoft unveiled its Surface table, a PC with a huge touch screen designed to serve in retail stores, hotels, restaurants, and similar venues. Surface debuted in AT&T wireless stores last month.

According to Chris Flores from the Windows Vista Team Blog, Microsoft wants to see multi-touch functionality on “a wide variety of Windows notebooks, in all-in-one PC’s, as well as in external monitors.” That vision may come true in 2010, when Microsoft plans to complete work on Windows 7.

Comments closed
    • PeterD
    • 11 years ago

    Loads of blabla-bullshit from MS about their next OS, as usual. “Touch” will probably not be in it, and it won’t really improve using the pc either.

      • Meadows
      • 11 years ago

      They have years to decide that, and personally I won’t mind either way. I might even be conservative enough to still use a CRT in 2010, so it probably wouldn’t even matter for me.

    • jstern
    • 11 years ago

    The thing I find interesting about the vid is that image program, since I want to scan some pictures that have writing on the back.

    • cegras
    • 11 years ago

    MS is permanently entrenched in mediocrity.

    • Klopsik206
    • 11 years ago

    This is useless for desktop.
    Even on laptops it will hurt your hands after a while.

    What’s I was hoping for is vector, resolution independent GUI.
    <Sigh…>

      • provoko
      • 11 years ago

      Not to mention it’ll make a lot of laptops greasy. Probably greasier for a lot of people here, haha.

    • jackjohnson011
    • 11 years ago

    why they hell can’t they make it like how they first envisioned longhorn (vista) to look like, but just add Aero and the Flip3D thing to it.

    §[< http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b9ifQvQCO7Y<]§ Why was this not vista?

      • Krogoth
      • 11 years ago

      Vista RTM and newer has all of those nifty features in it UI, albeit refined and optimized.

      (They are really sidebar gadgets)

        • Meadows
        • 11 years ago

        I see, so the more extensive use of 3D (look at the user account picture spinning on the login screen), the refined photo folders (well animated photo cluster movements, page flip effects, what have you) and several other feats are just “sidebar gadgets”. Watch the movie instead.

        I would’ve liked those included, too. Even without those, Vista’s pretty I suppose, but that would’ve been kickass and no less.

          • Krogoth
          • 11 years ago

          The “extra” folder animations were removed, because it most likely needed “gasp” too much performance for their targeted market. It most likely yielded too many problems to justify its existence from beta user tests.

          The other stuff in the movie was gadget tools on the sidebar. You can find most of them online as well.

      • MattMojo
      • 11 years ago

      The concept was great but most people complain already about Windows bloat and that would have been no less bloat and more complaining because the general public can’t afford high priced PCs — bla, bla , bla….

      I for one, love Vista. I have it on my main monster as well as my Dell XPS laptop and my HTPC w/ blue-ray. All run Vista great and wouldn’t trade them for anything.

      Matter of fact, I dis-like using my computer at work because it feels so boring using XP. Although I plan on moving it to Vista soon.

      I would have welcomed the extra bloat and smooth features of that concept.

      Mojo

    • [SDG]Mantis
    • 11 years ago

    Welcome to the 15.4″ iPhone. Maybe that will have a virtual keyboard large enough for my fingers.

    Seriously, this sounds like a great way to have a scratched display unless you develop a very tough coating for it. That might be OK if you have a mouse pad like external input device. But there are situations (projector use for instance) where you can’t have feedback from the display directly…unless you add some serious sensor ability to the projector itself (or, again, have some external sensor capability). That’s within current technical ability…and really isn’t all that useful in a practical sense at this point (though that may change with time).

      • thecoldanddarkone
      • 11 years ago

      Depending on the tablet the lcd does have a tough coating. A person could always use a screen protector. I’ve typed on an lcd and I’ll say that it sucks. I don’t like it at all. A regular keyboard is far superior when typing compared to virtual keyboard. It’s not the speed of the touch that is the problem, it’s the fact your typing on a flat surface.

      I own a latitude xt for references.

      You could control the projector by using the tablet in clone mode.

    • Krogoth
    • 11 years ago

    What is the point?

    Touch-support is already mature enough in areas where it belongs and is greatly appreciated.

    I still think that “Surface” is just an idea that will never will take off in the mainstream market. It is an interesting niche concept though.

    • Mystic-G
    • 11 years ago

    Pointless features ftw.

    • culprit
    • 11 years ago

    I can see how this could be useful with a Wii whiteboard kind of input. The prohibitive cost of LCD projectors with decent resolution is the main obstacle to consumer multi-touch use. Combined with some good gesture UI, this could really streamline alot of PC usage. It could also make for some fun multi-user collaborative or competitive apps/games. Too bad this is all being done already using hacks/mods of existing hardware/software.

    • axeman
    • 11 years ago

    Cool, now if only they would invent some sort of hand-held device that could increase accuracy, and keep the screen clear of fingerprints. Hmmm….

    • DrDillyBar
    • 11 years ago

    I think the touch technology is just the coolest thing I’ve seen since I got a 3rd button on my mouse. Now they just need fairly cheap 24″ touchable WFP’s or a glorified wacom tablet for the mainstream or something so I don’t have to buy that table/tablet.
    I’d also like to point out that it’s great that when TR links a video to the frontpage, the thing ACTUALLY works unlike some [other] sites I frequent.

    • albundy
    • 11 years ago

    Sorry, but nothing can replace my 24 incher. I refuse to “touch” it.

      • Jigar
      • 11 years ago

      Second that, i wouldn’t like to hurt my LCD’s pixel.

      • Meadows
      • 11 years ago

      I didn’t know that one supports touch sensing, can you link the monitor?

    • Cova
    • 11 years ago

    Windows has supported multiple pointers for a long time now – this isn’t news, just marketing BS. There’s nothing new at the OS level at all in that video – just some new hardware that can detect multiple touches, and a new photo app that knows what to do with multiple pointers. IMO the news so far about Windows 7 is that they’ve dropped the new streamlined “minwin” kernel for a Vista-based one, end of story. One feature down, and no other new ones announced yet.

    • joshkraker
    • 11 years ago

    The only way I would ever use something like that is if they made a lay-down, slim lcd touch screen the same dimensions as a keyboard.. See where I’m going with this?

    For normal operation, the lcd would display a virtual keyboard with some sort of force feedback vibration when you touch a key. Then, for applications where the touch interface would be more efficient, the ‘virtual keys’ would be overridden and touches instead manipulate the object on a normal monitor..

    • herothezero
    • 11 years ago

    Does anyone else completely not care about touch functionality?

      • Usacomp2k3
      • 11 years ago

      *raises hand*

      • Meadows
      • 11 years ago

      That piano application is particularly useless. I see why it doesn’t even have an icon for the executable.

        • ssidbroadcast
        • 11 years ago

        shave and a haircut…

      • axeman
      • 11 years ago

      I’ve yet to see a touch screen that works well with one touch reliably, nevermind two. More useless feature bloat.

        • Meadows
        • 11 years ago

        Ah, so “bloat” is a sort of substitute word for many other things now. Finally, I see why people said Vista is full of “bloat” too.

          • bthylafh
          • 11 years ago

          “Bloated”, as in your opinion of yourself.

          • axeman
          • 11 years ago

          This was not directed at Vista, don’t take such offense, it’s just an observation about the state of software in general these days. About the only thing not suffering from feature bloat is notepad.exe

      • danny e.
      • 11 years ago

      indeed. i couldnt care less about many of the things that they seem to want to push. why dont they just get a nice stable 64 bit O/S that is customizable and listens to the user

        • echo_seven
        • 11 years ago

        Seeing that video gave me some very mixed feelings. On one hand, I look at it, and I think, “this is the future”. There is something magical and natural about the idea of directly controlling the computer with your hands that just screams that.

        On the other hand, you guys are right, for 90% of the applications out there, the mouse/keyboard combo is just….better. It does everything faster and with less fatigue on your hands/arms. Why is my natural intuition defied in this way? Why is the mouse/KB so damned good???

        Maybe it’s because everything is still in 2D. When/if we ever go to 3D holographic displays, maybe then the hands will have a chance.

    • Meadows
    • 11 years ago

    We’ve seen this before. The only novelty I recognise is different applications used.

    • ssidbroadcast
    • 11 years ago

    It drives me nuts when someone else touches my laptop screen. A UI that begs me to do so goes against every grain of my tech-nerd body. That’s like asking me to drag my fingernails across a chalkboard.

      • TheEmrys
      • 11 years ago

      I agree whole-heartedly. Its a major pet peeve of mine.

    • ludi
    • 11 years ago

    I’ve got a coworker I would love to spring this on. He’s constantly jabbing his LCD in order to identify on-screen objects, and after several weeks of this, the poor thing looks like it suffered a coordinated attack by an elite Day Care Assault Team. It would be really funny to get his reaction when his applications started responding to this abuse.

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