Could Windows 7 use on touchscreen tech?

Microsoft revealed earlier this week that Windows Vista's successor – codenamed Windows 7 – is scheduled to be released in 2010. But what the company is not making clear is what new features the OS will have, a topic that has become fodder for educated speculation. Analysts said Microsoft is probably keeping tight-lipped about what Windows 7 will look like because at this point, company engineers and executives don't even know. "They don't want to commit because they don't have a good idea what's in it," said Gartner analyst Michael Silver. "We're three years out, so you can't really expect that much detail."

Michael Cherry, an analyst with Directions on Microsoft, said with so many people still in the midst of upgrading to the latest client OS, Windows Vista, he's hesitant to speculate on what might be in Windows 7. "We barely know the features of the one we just got," he said. Windows Vista includes new features such as desktop search and a new user interface, which also are two areas that leave room for expansion in Windows 7, analysts said.

Microsoft has shown the direction it's going with the latter with its Surface computer, introduced in late May. That form factor looks like a coffee table with a touchscreen interface that lets users move photos around by hand synchronise devices by placing them on the table.

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