Microsoft demonstrated the touch capabilities of its Windows 7 operating system and introduced a new suite of multi-touch applications at the Wall Street Journal's D: All Things Digital conference on May 27.
In a blog post on the demonstration, Brandon LeBlanc, a Windows communication manager at Microsoft, noted that the touch demonstration comes a year after Microsoft initially introduced the company's multi-touch capabilities at last year's All Things Digital conference.
""At Wall Street Journal's D: All Things Digital conference about a year ago today, Julie Larson-Green first introduced Walt Mossberg to Windows 7 and its multi-touch capabilities, which we call Windows Touch. While we've been working on bringing natural user interface to you in many Microsoft products, we first introduced multi-touch in Microsoft Surface. Since then, the Windows and Surface development teams have been collaborating closely on bringing multi-touch to Windows, and last year demoed a few applications they created to run on Windows 7. Today, we thought it would be fitting on this 'anniversary' of first talking about Windows Touch to introduce the Microsoft Touch Pack for Windows 7.""
Thus Microsoft introduced the new Touch Pack for Windows 7, which is "a set of six multi-touch optimized applications and games that are designed to truly showcase the capabilities of Windows Touch in Windows 7," LeBlanc said. "It consists of 3 casual games, and 3 Microsoft Surface applications that have been created for Windows 7."
The Microsoft Touch Pack for Windows 7 includes Microsoft Surface Globe, which uses the Virtual Earth 3D engine to display a 3D version of the world, as well as Microsoft Surface Collage, which enables users to display digital photos and arrange and resize them using their fingertips. Other components of the Touch Pack include the Microsoft Surface Lagoon, which is a screensaver that users can interact with using multi-touch; Microsoft Blackboard, which enables users to create things on a virtual blackboard using gestures; Microsoft Rebound, a ball game; and Microsoft Garden Pond, an application featuring origami creations on a pond.
Regarding the adoption and availability of the multi-touch applications, LeBlanc said:
""In order to use the Microsoft Touch Pack for Windows 7, you'll need a Windows 7 PC that supports multi-touch. The Microsoft Touch Pack for Windows 7 will be available to PC makers (OEMs) who will have the option to pre-install some, none or all of the applications available in the Microsoft Touch Pack for Windows 7 on PCs designed for Windows Touch (PCs that meet the logo requirements for Windows Touch)-so you should start to see these applications showing up on some touch PCs around the time Windows 7 is made broadly available. After general availability of Windows 7, we will look at making the Microsoft Touch Pack for Windows 7 even more broadly available based on feedback from customers and partners." "