Microsoft gives glimpse of touch-screen tech in Windows 7

Demo shown at the annual D Conference

Windows 7 will feature multi-touch screen technology among many features Microsoft revealed Tuesday night during the first official demo of the software.

The demo, overseen by both CEO Steve Ballmer and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates, was shown at the annual D Conference hosted by the Wall Street Journal.

The duo said the software would ship in late 2009. Microsoft has been coy on the development of Windows 7, at times even refusing to acknowledge it was working on such a product. But Ballmer and Gates ended all the speculation, showing multi-touch screen technology that lets users move around photos or move, resize and open windows by placing their hands on the screen.

Microsoft has posted a video of the technology on its Vista blog site.

The touch technology is similar to that in Microsoft's Surface table top interface, which Gates showed last year at the same conference.

PCs will need screen digitizers to make the technology usable, according to a report on the demo by Barrons. Touch, however, would be an alternate input device and will not replace the mouse or keyboard.

Ballmer said Windows 7 would include a lot of technology with the goal of producing a "fantastic PC," according to Barron's.

Despite the cone of silence around Windows 7, led by Steven Sinofsky, the new senior vice president of Windows and Windows Live engineering, the company has been slipping out bits and pieces of information about the operating system for the past 12 months.

The snippets include information early last year from Gates, who outlined planned integration between Live Services and Windows 7 in an interview with Newsweek magazine. The integration would allow a user's information and desktop configurations to follow them by storing it in the cloud. He also said digital ink and speech would be prominent in Windows 7, as would parallel computing. He added that performance improvements were coming along with data synchronization capabilities for users with multiple personal computers.

Microsoft also has hinted that the operating system will be more modular and allow for different configurations at installation similar to the way Windows Server 2008 lets users tailor deployments to meet specific needs, such as DNS or file serving.

Given the late 2009 timeframe for release of Windows 7, experts are speculating that it will be more of an upgrade to Vista rather than a replacement for the operating system that has sold 150 million licenses despite criticism from some media outlets and users.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

John Fontana

Network World
Show Comments

Essentials

Brother MFC-L3745CDW Colour Laser Multifunction

Learn more >

Mobile

Exec

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?