Neowin asks: Windows 7 Touch

By now you should have seen the news about the new Windows 7 UI and touch based advances. If not then please checkout our introducing the Windows 7 UI article.

As we want to involve our readers as much as possible, we wanted to give you the opportunity to field questions to the Windows team regarding touch and how the new UI enhancements are assisting us move to touch computing on the desktop.

We held a Q&A session yesterday on the PDC build which was highly successful, with over 400 people asking questions, but we wanted to go speak to Microsoft today and field your questions.

If you have a question regarding the new touch UI then please leave a comment in this article and we'll try our best to get them all answered. The answers will be recorded next to a HP TouchSmart system to fully demo them. A member of the Windows team will give expert answers and I will post the footage later today.

If you would like to know more about Windows 7 and PDC then please visit our PDC section.

Don't forget we are also offering you a unique opportunity to win the PDC hard drive that has been handed out to attendees. Click here to find out how to enter.

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21 Comments

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Although touch is a very higly acclaimed feature in todays world. It might be fun to play with but I think the flash might wear off soon and you're stuck with something thats just for play.

What will it do to enhance productivity?

I don't think the specifications for Win7 have been said yet (maybe because they don't exist yet), but if they do, what are they?

Tikitiki said,
I don't think the specifications for Win7 have been said yet (maybe because they don't exist yet), but if they do, what are they?
Same as Vista. Maybe even lower.

How many fingerprints does the screen get? I've got a Sony HD camcorder that has a touch screen - and I'm forever having to clean the fingerprints off. Really annoying

This is going to be a problem, unless you buy the surgical gloves and wear them specifically to use touch screen devices.
I know the feeling though, it's rather annoying.

I got one,

How well do you see the touch screen feature working on 3rd party applications. Some examples like Adobe Photoshop, or when you need to input data into a field, such as a browser, how would Windows 7 combat the issue with needing the keyboard for manual input?

Would there be an on screen keyboard for such events?

On 3rd party integration, I imagine that current apps will display/work as they current doing. Newer apps will need to be written that take advantage of Touch functionality.

Regarding use input, perhaps we'll have the option of using our microphones to speak to the computer? There could also be special icons that are used to communicate ideas.

auutumn said,
On 3rd party integration, I imagine that current apps will display/work as they current doing. Newer apps will need to be written that take advantage of Touch functionality.
I'm just envisioning playing an RTS with multitouch. And I'm enjoying it.

If you had two multi-touch applications open could you have two people using them side-by-side, or is it restricted to one active window?

I think they're better off using webcams to track hand movements to interface with the computer. It'd be a cheaper and much more adopted feature unless these touch screens drastically come down in price.

if we can able to use older themes, that we have with XP and vista to be enabled?.
and i want Up key back, and want some more shortcuts .... i love to work with keyboard...

I don't see the point in this touch thing. Sure I can see how it would be an advantage to be able to do that IF the screen was table-based but I think the Mouse is still better.

Not only that but I don't see how they'll ever get around the issue of grease / smears building up on the display. Plus why would I want to keep reaching up when I can just rest my hands on my desk to use a keyboard / mouse.

I think the technology has a lot of applications, and laptops may benefit more from it, but I don't see it becoming the dominant technology in the desktop arena.

In some of the multi-touch demos I've seen, there is a noticeable lag in reaction time. Is this something Microsoft is working on to improve or is it purely down to the hardware vendors to come up with "better" drivers?

Yeah I ask because the same sort of thing affected Vista (albeit in other areas) and it took a very long time for hardware vendors to address the problem long after Vista became available.

Will we see the same shenanigans?

How about the drawing calls being executed on the GPU or the CPU? Zooming in and out is very smooth on the iPhone, both images and websites. I believe the iPhone has textrendering and bilinear filtering being done by the GPU, along with most other UI operations. Internet Explorer 7 on Vista and Windows 7 it seems does not run on the GPU.