vacancies advertise contact news tip The Vault
facebook rss twitter

Microsoft attempts to rejuvenate Windows 7 Touch, relaunches free Touch Pack

by Parm Mann on 22 April 2010, 10:52

Tags: Windows 7, Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT)

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qaxxv

Add to My Vault: x

Much was made of the touch functionality built into Microsoft's Windows 7 operating system, but the fingertip Windows experience hasn't exactly captured the imagination of either developers or end users.

Perhaps in an effort to encourage more of the world's 90+ million Windows 7 customers to literally get their finger out, the software giant has this week announced that its Windows 7 Touch Pack is now freely available to everyone and anyone.

First announced in May 2009 as an OEM-only bundle for multi-touch-certified PCs, the Touch Pack consists of six applications designed to demonstrate what a touchscreen has to offer to the Windows environment.

The six apps - Surface Globe, Surface Collage, Surface Lagoon, Blackboard, Rebound and Garden Pond - are for the most part ported from Microsoft's Surface device and with an emphasis on eye candy offer little in terms of real-world functionality.

Commenting on the release, Microsoft spokesperson Brandon LeBlanc said:

"Due to feedback and requests from both partners and customers, we are releasing the Microsoft Touch Pack for Windows 7 for anyone with Windows Touch capable devices to download."

"If you have a Windows 7 PC or a multitouch monitor that supports Windows Touch in Windows 7, the Touch Pack for Windows 7 is a good way for you to be able to truly test the multitouch investments we’ve made in Windows 7."

Whilst its biggest competitors continue to reap the benefits of multi-touch success, it seems Microsoft is still struggling to capture its slice of the touchscreen pie and may now need to turn its attention to its other touch-enabled operating system; Windows Phone 7, due on portable devices later this year.

The Windows 7 Touch Pack is available to download at Microsoft.com.



HEXUS Forums :: 15 Comments

Login with Forum Account

Don't have an account? Register today!
Whilst its biggest competitors continue to reap the benefits of multi-touch success, it seems Microsoft is still struggling to capture its slice of the touchscreen pie and may now need to turn its attention to its other touch-enabled operating system; Windows Phone 7, due on portable devices later this year.

Well yeah. Touch works really well on a mobile scale device but who actually wants it for your average desktop?

At worst it's completely impractical - the screen I'm using right now is sitting just over an arms length away from where I'm sitting, and at best it means you get grubby fingerprints all over your screen.
It's only really suited to the mythical “kitchen PC” that people keep talking about in my eyes, because in any other situation you would be sitting down and hence too far away to touch the screen comfortably.

Problem is that as far as I can work out, there's very little actual benefit to a kitchen PC… Squeezebox radio I can understand, possibly a TV, although it seems a bit extravagant, but a PC?

I can't really see the attraction in simultaneously baking a cake and playing Runescape.
The thing is its a very good aditional technology, there is some marchitecture term for these symphonic technologies that harmonise well with each other.

My tablet PC was just the dogs bollocks when I was at uni, it was just brilliant, bit heavy, short on battery life, single core'd CPU. Within 6 months of starting working in the real world it was completely left in its box for 2 years.

I sold it to a mate who's doing his PHd, this is a 4.5 year old machine now we're talking about and he uses it daily at uni. Even the anti-MS lot can't help but say its loverly.

But this is the thing its very niche, I can't see the benefit for most users, I swear sony should give me money but a complete stranger asked me about it on the tube, they wanted something for backpacking down under, had been thinking of the iPad (wtf?! Marketing works!) within about 3 min they where just taken with that as the netbook++.

So there is consumer demand, that is often based on ignorance of alternatives, as such the touch is great drum banging team in MS must be getting a lot more attention as the suites try and make it more mainstream. My fear is they will fail to look at things like OneNote, better integration with Matlab etc
i can see touch possibly working on a laptops…….

but i think, well personally i have a 23" screen tis a bit big for touching?
Georgy291
i can see touch possibly working on a laptops…….

but i think, well personally i have a 23" screen tis a bit big for touching?

Agreed, it's all very well having touch on a screen a few inches across but I can't see it being so wieldy on something twice as wide ans your hand span!

That said, as TheAnimus pointed out it could work reasonably well when used in addition to other inputs, especially in certain niches and with appropriate software support. I'm not sure about using the iPad/Pod/Phone as a comparison; Apple have done a stonkingly good job of marketing their devices but how many people would consider them for doing serious work (beyond emailing each other)?