Touching Windows 7


We’ve come a long way in engineering Windows 7 since we first provided an engineering preview of Windows 7 and the work we are doing to support the touch interface paradigm back at the D: All Things Digital conference.  We chose to kick-off the discussion about engineering Windows 7 with touch scenarios because we know this is a long-lead effort that requires work across the full ecosystem to fully realize the benefit.  For Windows 7, touch support is engineered by building on our advances in input technology we began with the TabletPC work on Windows XP.  Touch in Windows 7 requires improvements in hardware, driver software, core Windows user experience, and of course application support.  By having this support in an open platform, consumers and developers will benefit from a wide variety of choices in hardware, software, and different PC form factors.  Quite a few folks have been a little skeptical of touch, often commenting about having fingerprints on their monitor or something along those lines.  We think touch will become broadly available as the hardware evolves and while it might be the primary input for some form factors (such as a wall mounted display in a hospital, kiosk, or point of sale) it will also prove to richly augment many scenarios such as reading on a convertible laptop or a “kitchen PC”.  One of my favorite experiences recently was watching folks at a computer retailer experience one of the currently available all-in-one touch desktops and then moving to another all-in-one and continuing to interact with the screen—except the PC was not interacting back.  The notion that you can touch a screen seems to be becoming second nature rather quickly.  This post is our first dedicated blog on the subject. This is a joint effort by several people from the touch team, mostly Reed Townsend, Dave Matthews, and Ian LeGrow. -Steven


Windows Touch is designed to enhance how you interact with a PC. For those of us that have been living and breathing touch for the last two years we’re excited to be able to deliver the capability to people using Windows 7. In this blog we’re going to talk about what we’ve done to make Windows touchable. We approached this from a number of different directions: key improvements to the core Windows UI, optimizing for touch in key experiences, working with hardware partners to provide robust and reliable touch PCs, and providing a multitouch platform for applications.


Making Windows Touchable


With Windows 7 we have enriched the Windows experience with touch, making touch a first-class way to interact with your PC alongside the mouse and keyboard. We focused on common activities and refined them thoughtfully with touch in mind. You will have the freedom of direct interaction, like being able to reach out and slowly scroll a web page then flick quickly to move through it. With new touch optimized applications from creative software developers you will be able to immerse yourself as you explore you photos, browse the globe, or go after bad guys in your favorite games.


While providing this touchable experience, we made sure you are getting the full Windows 7 experience and not a sub-set just for touch. We’ve been asked if we are creating a new Touch UI, or “Touch Shell” for Windows – something like Media Center that completely replaces the UI of Windows with a version that is optimized for touch. As you can see from the beta, we are focused on bringing touch through the Windows experience and delivering optimized touch interface where appropriate.  A touch shell for launching only touch-specific applications would not meet customers’ needs – there would be too much switching between “touch” mode and Windows applications. Instead, we focused our efforts on augmenting the overall experience so that Windows works great with touch.


We took a variety of approaches – some broad, and some very targeted to support this goal:



  • Touch gestures: Windows 7 has a simple set of touch gestures that work in many existing applications. These include the basics of tap and drag, as well as scroll, right-click, back, forward, zoom, and rotate. More details on how gestures work is described later.

  • Improved high DPI support: Windows 7 has improved high dpi support (see High DPI blog post). The broad benefit to touch is that UI elements are rendered closer to their intended size – usually larger – which makes small buttons, links, and other targets easier to access with touch.

  • Improved window management: The updated taskbar and windows arranging features go a long way towards making Windows easier to use with touch. There have been several subtle but critical touch optimizations:

    • The taskbar buttons and thumbnails are ideally sized for pressing with touch, and specific behaviors are tuned for touch input. For example, the Jump Lists can be accessed with a simple drag up from the taskbar, and when opened with touch, the shortcuts in the Jump Lists are drawn with extra vertical spacing to make them easier to select.

    • Aero Peek has been tuned to work with touch – the show desktop button is twice as wide (the only visual sign you are on a Windows Touch PC) and instead of hovering (which you can’t do with touch), a press-and-hold on the button activates Aero Peek.

    • Sizing and positioning windows is easy with Aero Snap – just drag a window to a screen edge. Furthermore, this was tuned with special touch thresholds so that you don’t have to drag to the absolute edge of the screen – a better balance for touch usage.

  • Refinements to key experiences: The top browsing and media activities were refined to provide an optimized touch experience. IE8 includes support for the core touch gestures (scrolling, back, forward, zoom) as well as an optimized address bar that opens by dragging down, and extra spacing in favorites and history lists when opened with touch for easy selection. In Windows Media Player, the transport controls (play, pause, etc) have larger clickable areas even though they still look the same size – so that they are easier to touch.

  • Touch keyboard: The on-screen keyboard has been optimized for touch with glow key feedback that’s visible when your finger is covering the letter and multitouch support for natural typing behavior and key combinations. It’s designed for quick usage, like entering a URL.

Overall, the Windows Touch features are designed to work together to deliver a great end-to-end touch experience. For example, the goal with IE8 was to deliver a seamless touch browsing experience, this includes the panning, zooming, URL entry, and several interface enhancements. For this reason, all the new touch features require the presence of a multi-touch digitizer – more on that further down.


Gestures


The Windows Touch gestures are the basic actions you use to interact with Windows or an application using touch. As we noted above, because the gestures are built into the core of Windows, they are designed to work with all applications, even ones that were never designed with touch in mind.


Our mantra with gestures has been “Predictable + Reliable = Habits”. To be predictable the action should relate to the result – if you drag content down, the content should move down. To be reliable, the gesture should do roughly the same action everywhere, and the gesture needs to be responsive and robust to reasonable variations. If these conditions are met then people are far more likely to develop habits and use gestures without consciously thinking about it.


We’ve intentionally focused on this small set of system-wide gestures in Win7. By keeping the set small we reduce misrecognition errors – making them more reliable. We reduce latencies since we need less data to indentify gestures. It’s also easier for all of us to remember a small set! The core gestures are:



  • Tap and Double-tap – Touch and release to click. This is the most basic touch action. Can also double-tap to open files and folders. Tolerances are tuned to be larger than with a mouse. This works everywhere.

  • Drag – Touch and slide your finger on screen. Like a dragging with a mouse, this moves icons around the desktop, moves windows, selects text (by dragging left or right), etc. This works everywhere.

  • Scroll – Drag up or down on the content (not the scrollbar!) of scrollable window to scroll. This may sound basic, but it is the most used (and most useful – it’s a lot easier than targeting the scrollbar!) gesture in the beta according to our telemetry. You’ll notice details that make this a more natural interaction: the inertia if you toss the page and the little bounce when the end of the page is reached. Scrolling is one of the most common activities on the web and in email, and the ability to drag and toss the page is a perfect match for the strengths of touch (simple quick drags on screen). Scrolling is available with one or more fingers. This works in most applications that use standard scrollbars.

  • Zoom – Pinch two fingers together or apart to zoom in or out on a document. This comes in handy when looking at photos or reading documents on a small laptop. This works in applications that support mouse wheel zooming.

  • Two-Finger Tap – tapping with two fingers simultaneously zooms in about the center of the gesture or restores to the default zoom – great for zooming in on hyperlinks. Applications need to add code to support this.

  • Rotate – Touch two spots on a digital photo and twist to rotate it just like a real photo. Applications need to add code to support this.

  • Flicks – Flick left or right to navigate back and forward in a browser and other apps. This works in most applications that support back and forward.

  • Press-and-hold – Hold your finger on screen for a moment and release after the animation to get a right-click. This works everywhere.

  • Or, press-andtap with a second finger – to get right-click, just like you would click the right button on a mouse or trackpad. This works everywhere.

For touch gestures, seeing them in action is important so here is a brief video showing the gestures in action:




 


In order to make the gestures reliable, we tuned the gesture detection engine with sample gesture input provided by real people using touch in pre-release builds; these tuned gestures are what you will see in the RC build. We have a rigorous process for tuning. Similar to our handwriting recognition data collection, we have tools to record the raw touch data from volunteers while they perform a set of scripted tasks. We collected thousands of samples from hundreds of people. These data were then mined looking for problems and optimization opportunities. The beauty of the system is that we can replay the test data after making any changes to the gesture engine, verifying improvements and guarding against regression in other areas.


This has led to several important optimizations. For example, we found that zooms and rotates were sometimes confused. Detecting zoom gestures only in applications that don’t use rotation has resulted in a 15% improvement in zoom detection.


Gesture success data.


Further analysis showed that many short gestures were going unrecognized. The gesture recognition heuristics needed to see 100ms or 5mm worth of data before making a decision about what gesture the user was performing. The concern that originally led to these limits was that making a decision about which gesture was being performed too early would lead to misrecognition. In fact, when we looked at the collected user data, we found we could remove those limits entirely – the gesture recognition heuristics performed very well in ambiguous situations. After applying the change and replaying the collected gesture sample data, we found zoom and rotate detection improved by about 6% each, and short scrolling improved by almost 20%!


Supporting Gestures

Gestures are built into the system in such a way that many applications that have no awareness of touch respond appropriately, we have done this by creating default handlers that simulate the mouse or mouse wheel. Generally this gives a very good experience, but there are applications where some gestures don’t work smoothly or at all. In these cases the application needs to respond to the gesture message directly.


In Windows, several experiences have been gesture enabled. We’ve spent a considerable amount of effort on IE8 – ensuring scrolling and zooming are smooth and that back and forward are at your fingertips. Media Center, which is a completely custom interface ideally suited to touch, added smooth touch scrolling in galleries and the home screen. The XPS Viewer has gesture support that will could become a model for many document viewing apps. Scrolling and zoom work as you would expect. When zooming out beyond a single page, pages start to tile so you can view many at a time. When zoomed out in that fashion, double tapping on any page jumps back to the default view of that page. A two-finger tap restores the view to 100% magnification. These predictable behaviors become habit forming quickly.


Working with the Hardware Ecosystem


A major benefit of the Windows ecosystem is diversity – PCs come in all shapes and sizes. To help ensure that there is a great Windows Touch experience across the many different types of PCs we have defined a set of measurements and tests for Windows Touch that are part of the Windows Logo. We’ve been working with touch hardware partners since the beginning of Windows 7 to define the requirements and ensure they are ready for launch.


Our approach has been to provide an abstraction of the underlying hardware technology. We’ve specified a requirements for the quantitative aspects of the device, such as accuracy, sample rate, and resolution, based on the requirements to successfully enable touch features. For example, we have determined the necessary accuracy values for a device so people can successfully target common UI elements like close boxes, or what sample rate and resolution are required to ensure quality gesture recognition.


The requirements form the basis for the Windows Touch logo program. For consumers, the logo tells you that the PC and all of its components are optimized for Windows. Component level logo, which is what we grant to Touch digitizers helps the OEMs choose a device that will deliver a great touch experience.


Based on the quantitative requirements, we built an interactive test suite that includes 43 separate tests, all validating the core requirements under different conditions. There are single point accuracy tests at various locations on the screen, including the corners which are often harder for accuracy but critical to Windows. There are also several dynamic tests where accuracy is measured while drawing lines on the screen – see the screenshot below of Test 7. In this test, two lines are simultaneously drawn using touch along the black line from the start to the end. The touch tracings must remain within 2.5 mm of the black line between the start and end points. The first image below shows a passing test where the entire tracing is green (apologies for the fuzziness – these are foot long tracings from a large screen that have been scaled down).

Figure 1: A passing line accuracy test from the Windows 7 Touch logo test tool

 


  Figure 1: A passing line accuracy test from the Windows 7 Touch logo test tool


Not all devices pass the tests. Below is a screenshot of a device that is failing. This one has some noise – notice the deviation from the line in red. These errors need to be resolved before it would receive the logo. Errors like this can result in misrecognized gestures.


Figure 2: A failing line accuracy test from the Windows 7 Touch logo test tool Figure 2: A failing line accuracy test from the Windows 7 Touch logo test tool


To ensure repeatability of the tests, we’ve built a set of plastic jigs with tracing cut-outs, see photo below. This particular jig is used for 5 of the tests and measures accuracy while tracing an arc.


Plastic jig with tracing cutouts to ensure repeatability of tests.Figure 3. Plastic jigs with tracing cut-outs for testing.


The testing tool is available to our partners now, we’re working closely with several of them to help tune the performance of their devices to meet the requirements and deliver a great touch experience. We have set-up an in-house testing facility that will be testing every device submitted for Logo.


With the Release Candidate, OEMs and IHVs will be able to finalize the logo process for systems designed for Windows 7. Today we already have several hardware partners that have provided us with devices and drivers for testing.


Windows Touch for Software Developers


We also want to talk a little about the touch platform for software developers.  Windows 7 provides a rich touch platform for applications. We’ve already mentioned gestures, there’s also a lower level platform that gives developers complete control over the touch experience. We think about it in a Good-Better-Best software stack.


Good

The “good” bucket is what touch-unaware applications get for free from Windows 7. Windows provides default behaviors for many gestures, and will trigger those behaviors in your application in response to user input. For example, if someone tries touch scrolling over a window that is touch-unaware, we can detect the presence of various types of scrollbars and will scroll them. Similarly, when the user zooms, we inject messages that provide an approximation of the zoom gesture in many apps. As a developer you can ensure that the default gestures work just by using standard scrollbars and responding to ctrl-mouse wheel messages.


Better

The “better” bucket is focused on adding direct gesture support and other small behavior and UI changes to make apps more touch-friendly. For instance, there is a new Win32 window message, WM_GESTURE (preliminary MSDN docs), that informs the application a gesture was performed over its window. Each message contains information about the gesture, such as how far the user is scrolling or zooming and where the center of the gesture is.


Applications that respond to gestures directly have full control over how they behave. For example, the default touch scrolling is designed to work in text centric windows that scroll primarily vertically (like web pages or documents), dragging horizontally does selection rather than scrolling. In most applications this works well, but if an app has primarily horizontal scrolling then the defaults would have to be overridden. Also, for some applications the default scroll can appear chunky. This is fine with a mouse wheel, but it feels unnatural with touch. Apps may also want to tune scrolling to end on boundaries, such as cells in a spreadsheet, or photos in a list. IE8 has a custom behavior where it opens a link in a new tab if you drag over it rather than click it.


In addition to gestures, there are subtle optimizations applications can make for touch if they check to see if touch is in use. Many of the subtle touch behavior optimizations in Windows were enabled in this manner. Larger Jump List item spacing for touch, larger hot spots for triggering window arranging, and the press and hold behavior on the desktop Aero Peek button with touch are all features written with the mouse in mind, but when activated via touch use slightly different parameters.


Best

Applications or features that fall into the “best” bucket are designed from the ground up to be great touch experiences. Apps in this bucket would build on top of WM_TOUCH – the window message that provides raw touch data to the application. Developers can use this to go beyond the core system gestures and build custom gesture support for their applications. They can also provide visualizations of the touch input (e.g. a raster editing application), build custom controls, and other things we haven’t thought of yet!


We also provide a COM version of the Manipulations and Inertia APIs from Surface. The Manipulations API simplifies interactions where an arbitrary number of fingers are on an object into simple 2D affine transforms and also allows for multiple interactions to be occurring simultaneously. For instance, if you were writing a photo editing application, you could grab two photos at the same time using however many fingers you wanted and rotate, resize, and translate the photos within the app. Inertia provides a very basic physics model for applications and, in the example above, would allow you to “toss” the photos and have them decelerate and come to a stop naturally.


Showcasing Touch

We’ve previously demonstrated, Microsoft Surface Globe, an interactive globe done in partnership with the Surface effort. Spinning the globe works as you would expect from a real-world globe, but with a touchable globe you can grab and stretch the view to zoom in, rotate, and move the view around. Interacting with the globe and exploring the world is the majority of the UI, and it is exceedingly easy to use with touch. Other features like search and adding markers to the map have also been designed with touch in mind.


Here’s another video to get an idea of what we’re talking about:




 


We’re eagerly looking forward to seeing new touch-optimized user interfaces and interactions. If you’re thinking about writing touch applications or adding touch support to your existing app, you should start with the MSDN documentation and samples.


What Next?


We’ve noted several touch updates in the RC. If you have the Windows 7 Beta you can experiment with touch using a PC that supports multiple touch points. Please note that the multitouch PCs available today were developed while the Windows 7 requirements were also defined, so while we believe they can support Windows 7’s requirements, only the maker of the PC can provide the logoed drivers for Windows 7 and support the PC on Windows 7. Keeping that caveat in mind, today there are a few multitouch PCs on the market:



  • HP TouchSmart All-in-One PCs (IQ500 series & IQ800 series)

  • HP TouchSmart tx2 Tablet PC

  • Dell Latitude XT or XT2 Tablet PC

To enable multitouch capabilities on these PCs running the Windows 7 Beta you will need to make sure you have the latest multitouch beta drivers. Remember these are pre-release drivers and are not supported by Microsoft, Dell or HP. And again, they still need to pass through the Windows Logo process we described above before they are final.



We often get asked about single-touch PCs. Will they work with Windows 7? There are many types of hardware available for touch and many screens and PCs can provide single touch (usually based on resistive touch technology).  A single-touch PC will have the same functionality on Windows 7 as it does on Vista, but this functionality will not be extended to the Windows 7 capabilities. As we noted earlier, Windows Touch in Windows 7 is comprised of a collection of touch enhancements, several of which require multitouch, that work together to deliver a great end-to-end touch experience.


As form factors change and the demands of our user interfaces change, input methods change and grow as well. We’re excited about the unique benefits touch offers the user, and the new places and new ways it enables PCs to be used.  We expect PCs of all form factors and price points to provide touch support and so it makes sense that these PCs will be able to take advantage of the full range of Windows 7 capabilities.


Windows 7 is designed to provide efficient ways to use multitouch for the most common and important scenarios, while being a natural and intuitive complement to the mouse and keyboard people use today.


Keep in Touch!


– Windows Touch Team


Comments (68)

  1. anotherjohnboy says:

    This is judged only by the video provided, but shouldn’t the image viewer give rotate feedback in realtime? That is, follow the input and snap to the nearest position in the end? The way it is done in the video seems to be a bit rough and more like "traditional user experience".

  2. Tihiy says:

    If the application does not process the message, it must call DefWindowProc. Not doing so will cause the application to leak memory because the touch input handle will not be closed and associated process memory will not be freed.

    WHAT????

  3. Role says:

    As of today, the touch functionality under Windows 7 will cause many legacy business apps to crash.

    The reason: Many existing business apps have been written in VB6 and use the common controls OCX of VB5/6 (comctl32.ocx and mscomctl.ocx)to create list views and treeviews.

    These OCXs crash if any program runs that implements WinEvent hooks. The touch functionality, the TabletPC tools, narrator, and some more use WinEvent hooks, causing all VB6 apps to crash if they use the common control OCXs.

    This problem is described in the KB article at http://support.microsoft.com/kb/896559.

    In 2005, MS provided a "fix" for the components that should resolve the issues. However, it doesn’t fix all issues, and as a result, the fix is useless.

    Thus, MS must fix the comctl32.ocx and mscomctl.ocx components, or touch will not succeed in the business computing world.

  4. jrronimo says:

    I’m very excited for touch — I’ve been using a Samsung Q1 as one of my main Win7 test machines. The experience is very good, even though it is only single-input touch. While I would really like inertial scrolling throughout Explorer on the device, I understand the technical limitations from talking to the Touch team in the newsgroups.

    Touch is the perfect accent for a Win7 machine. While usable without it, adding it in makes Windows that much more… concrete, I guess.

  5. Warel says:

    Very good work, team.

    Now, its done with touching? Then, maybe you all can wake up and start adding the functionality that lots of users of NON touch devices (like, I don´t know, maybe just 90% of windows users?) are demanding?

    Where is a customizable Windows explorer toolbar and statusbar?

    Where is the possibility to choose the pictures to be imported from a digital camera, and not having to import everything or nothing?

    Where is the possibility to "lock" a folder, and STOPS the really annoying windows explorer habit of changing the view styles?

    Can we expand the All Programs in start menu? Or, the classical menu? Is it back?

    Will Windows Live Messenger quietly in the tray, where it belongs, and not taking space in my taskbar?

    Windows Media Player 12 already have the same "search for radio" functionalty as Windows Media Player TEN had, and then, I don´t know why, was lost?

    Can we change the "hardcoded" windows hotkeys? What If I want the winkey + E to open my libraries? what if I liked that behaviour? can I revert back, now it opens again in "My computer"?

    Can I create a shortcut to "New Folder" in explorer?

    and, so on… but, sorry, I see you all was soooooo busy working with touch, to please that 1% of users…

  6. JJohnson1701 says:

    on the touch input – great job in putting in Win7.  I’ve been wanting a touch-capable OS for a while now.

    Since Win7 allows desktop slideshows, if I slide/flick left or right on the desktop, will that make it advance to  the next/previous picture?  That would be a great little feature.

  7. Xepol says:

    How much time and money is MS going to waste on this before it is clear that this is doomed for failure?

    Ok, first, the jigs are nice and repeatable but not for a human.   Sure, you might be able to read a perfect curve, but many of us can’t draw them – a few deliberately sloppy jigs would definitely be an asset to testing.

    Except that no one wants a screen full of greasy figureprint trails.  I have seen people go psychotic with the windex over just a SINGLE fingerprint.

    All that aside, I have still yet to find a single touch sensitive display that isn’t handheld.

    Interesting idea for an iPhone or Palm, ok for a display you see from 20 feet away over the tv – SUCKY AS ALL GET OUT if you are in arms reach.

    I’m not sure what will ruin the experience for me more.  Dragging my fingers through other people’s peanutbutter smears or knowing the screen I have to touch has probably been sneezed on by every sick person who has looked at that day.

    And ya, I feel the same way when I have to use someone else’s keyboard.  I have seen some MIGHTY disgusting keyboards.  Turning the screen into high touch zone.

    Ya, ask the parent of any 2 year old how well that works out.  

  8. Sabu23 says:

    I bought a HP TX2 laptop last month and put the beta on it with the special driver for multi touch. Touch team you have done a splendid job, I have an iPhone and never thought that you would be able to get close to that on a computer.

    What I like:

    • The finger scrolling is great, I use that everywhere I can now

    • I never noticed the extra spacing on the start bar lists, but now that I do I think that was brilliant

    • The window placement stuff is great where you can drag windows to the top or edge of the screen,

    What you should fix

    • Scrolling does not work in Firefox (which is my favorite program)

    • Some web pages don’t work very well. I use google maps a lot and it doesn’t work.

    • Window resizing is hard, I need to use my mouse for that but actually I have most windows full screen so I just drag them to the top which is fine mostly

    • Powerpoint doesn’t work very well with touch

    • Picture rotation should show a picture rotating it is confusing now

    Where can I get the globe program? Is that available somewhere for download?

  9. dafin0 says:

    Sabu23 i believe they are using Live maps

    heres the link, click "3d" to download the browser app.

    http://maps.live.com.au/index.aspx

  10. Aeon-Slayer says:

    Hrm, I have not personally used a Single or Multi-touch PC is YEARS (yes, I did use a good ol’ fashioned single touch back in the 90’s for work for a while…) but I have to say, this looks pretty cool.

    While I have to agree that touch should hardly be a pressing concern for you guys (what with over 98% of users using a mouse), I don’t see what the problem with offering this functionality is.

    With all that said, it would be very nice to see MacBook like multi-touch functionality on a trackpad for us current generation notebook users! The technology is there (I am 100% certain my synaptics pad supports multi-touch hardware functionality – I have seen a colleague do it on his notebook within Linux, and it says so on their website. Link: http://www.synaptics.com/solutions/technology/gestures), so it seems clear that this should be something that Windows7 users should be able to utilize in its entirety. Enhanced Gesture Recognition (EGR), Flick, Two-finger Flick, ChiralMotion™, and ChiralRotate™; they should all be compatible with Windows7.

    A response from the team on this point would be excellent, as I have to say, this is one of the make or break aspects of Windows7 for me.

    – AeonSlayer / Simon

  11. dovella says:

    I wont buy Multitouch monitor 🙁

  12. macbirdie says:

    Tihiy relax, that’s standard behavior of a default window procedure. (I think 😉 )

  13. jcompagner says:

    Is this touch tech pure about touching your screen??

    Because i am not really interested in that and i think 90%-99% of all windows users will also not use this touch tech if you ask me. I dont believe in touching your screen, on a desktop this will really be a no go (because you are further away from your screen) and i personally also dont want my laptop to support that.

    No what i want is full multi touch support on my laptops touchpad (yes just as the competitor) that is in my eyes where windows "touch" is really lacking and that would be used by many many if not all laptop users..

    Or is this touchpad multi touch purely a hardware/driver issue? Why is it then in the windows pc world not really happening?

  14. Antimatter says:

    @Xepol

    "Ok, first, the jigs are nice and repeatable but not for a human."

    These jigs are used to test the ability of a digitizer to translate pen position to screen position. Since the pen detection process is stochastic, multiple trials need to be taken to ensure the digitizer works properly, and thus the tests need to be the same. This has nothing to do with drawing perfect curves free hand. If the digitizer passes this test, it should be able to translate anything accurately onto the screen. If you’d actually ever used a tablet, you’d know that drawing on a good screen is like drawing on paper.

    "no one wants a screen full of greasy figureprint trails"

    The way I deal with fingerprints is a quick swipe of a micro fibre cloth. Cleans them up quick enough. My screen is cleaner than most people’s who don’t have touch screens.

    "Dragging my fingers through other people’s peanutbutter smears or knowing the screen I have to touch has probably been sneezed on by every sick person who has looked at that day."

    How is this a problem of touch screens only? Any input surface of the computer will be germy.

  15. sroussey@network54.com says:

    @AeonSlayer: I have "Two-finger Flick" on my Eee trackpad working on XP. They have drivers for Vista too. What is it that MS has to support, other than perhaps making a baseline driver so the OEM doesn’t have to?

    @Xepol: "Except that no one wants a screen full of greasy figureprint trails" — actually get one before you over worry about such things. ATM machines have them. My iPhone was one. I thought it would be awful to not have a physical keyboard on it, but its fine. Same with my TouchSmart (meaning using the screen, not implying that I don’t use the keyboard on the PC).

  16. sroussey@network54.com says:

    @jcompagner: "Or is this touchpad multi touch purely a hardware/driver issue? Why is it then in the windows pc world not really happening?"

    Works for me. Whomever you bought your laptop from should provide the correct driver. Who is it that failed to do so????

    We can collectively take out this bad manufacturer to tar and feather. Who is it?

  17. Tihiy says:

    >> Tihiy relax, that’s standard behavior of a default window procedure. (I think 😉 )

    No, it’s not!

    Touch seems to be not integrated into windows core libraries at all, with WinEvent hooks meaning that performance and stability is degraded (a bit, but matters). And that strange DefWindowProc leaking: no other sane message ever leaked memory in Windows.

  18. jcompagner says:

    @sroussey

    Its a Dell Vostro 1700 (1.5 year old), and if you want to bash dell then i guess they should be bashed because of the very bad 64bit support for drivers. I needed to get it from another system of them (precision notebook) i would like that Microsoft would pressure Dell that it has to support both equally well.

    But i guess the trackpad (the hardware) should also support multi touch, i guess that is for the Vostro 1700 not yet the case.

    What things can you do then? Scroll with 2 fingers and so on?

  19. graham.lv says:

    I don’t care whether you can touch it or not – where the hell is it?

    Disturbing news:  InfoWorld: Microsoft slates May date for Windows 7 RC download

    http://www.infoworld.com/article/09/03/26/Microsoft_slates_May_date_for_Windows_7_RC_download_1.html

    It’s suppose to be not later than April 10 ..

    I’m saving 2.5 GB of my 5 GB per month allowance and lose that if I can’t get this by April 16.

    I guess I’ll have to try for 5057 just before my allowance runs out.  I mean, I wouldn’t save it, but don’t know for sure if it’s coming or not!

  20. marcinw says:

    I haven’t commented posts here since longer time. And what can I read here now ? Mainly criticism. And I agree in big part with it. Why ?

    People living in other world parts than America like nice looking things, but very often they’re looking more into other aspects too.

    For example: I can browse Internet using for example Damn Small Linux (50 MB), I can modify Windows XP installation for less than 1 GB of HDD (and it will be still able to run majority/all of my applications), etc. etc.

    Windows Vista/Seven give various innovations, but they still are not so configurable or small. They also put various new hardcoded limitations (with codecs too). For many people nice looking Seven interface will be not enough reason to switch into it because of these limits.

    And when we speak about RAM: KolibriOS needs 1 or 2 MB or RAM. I agree, that it’s primitive. But some Linux environments can be modified for less than 100 or 50 MB. Speaking that few hundreds MB of RAM is "good result" is some misunderstanding in my opinion.

    This is like with American cars (which are not too popular in Europe): many people don’t like them, because they’re too big or because they have "different" design.

    If my opinion: if MS will continue his strategy, can fail. The more limits will be put, the more people will be interested in alternatives.

    You can not agree with it. This is your choice 🙂

  21. dovella says:

    @marcinw

    Go tu buy Windows Mobile or Windows embadded

    You haven’t commented posts here since longer time ?

    OK

    Pls continue to no commented

    😉

  22. AndyC says:

    @tihiy: Calling the default windows procedure for any message you don’t process has always been a requirement on Windows. Failing to do so can lead to leaks, crashes or other undefined behaviour.

    See http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms633569(VS.85).aspx

    "An application-defined window procedure should pass any messages that it does not process to the DefWindowProc function for default processing."

  23. Enki says:

    I’m not so sure I like having a single finger moving up and down scroll but side to side selects.  That just seems like totally different actions and so not very reliable as you pointed out.  I mean if you use a scroll wheel that supports side to side scrolling up and down scrolls and side to side also scrolls.  what if I’m reading a long document and want to select a large section?  With a mouse I normally have more up and down movement then side to side.

    Why not just have one finger always being scroll and two fingers do select? (the movement should allow you to know if its not a right click)  

    Is there any difference between having your index finger one the screen and then touching the screen with your middle finger and having your middle finger down and touching the screen with your index?  (i.e. the left/right side the second finger touches is important)  This would obviously mean you would need a left handed, right handed option in the control panel but would give more options on what the touch should do.

    Any .Net API’s planned for release or changes to the .Net framework to support multitouch?

    Thanks

  24. Aeon-Slayer says:

    @sroussey:

    I have a 3 month old Toshiba Satellite Pro, originally running Windows Vista.

    My drivers are "up to date" and there is NO multi-touch supported in Windows Vista or 7. A near identical 1 year old model of Sat. Pro that my colleague is using supports multi-touch within a Linux environment, and I have searched for Drivers to enable to this hardware-supported function in Windows, but to no avail.

    If anyone can link me through to Drivers that will work on a Toshiba, please do so.

    If there are none, I move that MS thoroughly suggest that these drivers be created to, at the latest, coincide with the release of Win7 for all of the major companies.

    This is a function that will be infinitely beneficial to all notebook users, not a select few touch users.

    Just my thoughts,

    – AeonSlayer / Simon

  25. neil_m_stoker says:

    Hello,

    I’m very interested in the touch features of Windows 7.  I was curious about what level of support / assistance there might be for people who have built their own touch devices?  I know there’s a reasonable community of people (e.g. places like http://nuigroup.com/) who are finding ways to build working devices – but I imagine the hard part would be getting the software libraries for these systems to somehow interface to whatever hardware abstraction layer Windows Touch uses.  Will there be detailed information published on how the drivers / abstraction layer etc etc work?

    I appreciate this would be a niche market, but people like this at the cutting edge would no doubt push the technology and also demonstrate to hardware companies that there is demand in the marketplace for touch devices.

    Many thanks,

    Neil

  26. Jan Kučera says:

    Hello,

    I have quite blocking problem with touch. When I install the Windows 7 and touch the display, the cursor moves horizontally when I move the finger vertically.

    I thought that the calibration would do, but after touching all 16 crosses, the touch becomes unusable, probably due the unexpected swap of axes.

    Would be great if the Windows could adapt to such situation.

    Jan

  27. Jan Kučera says:

    PS. The calibration displays UAC prompt even if the default UAC setting was kept.

  28. sroussey@network54.com says:

    @jcompagner: Yeah, scroll with two fingers, etc. It is a Eee Netbook. I have the 1000 model (10in screen). There are three finger gestures, but I don’t bother. The two finger scrolling is very handy though. These are going for under $400 if you want one.

  29. hodgese says:

    The functionality looks good; nice job so far. I would encourage you to give it a bit more polish next. E.g. one person’s suggestion about making a picture actually rotate instead of just snapping 90 degrees. I’ve seen some amazing physics on Surface – things bounce around, hit one another, moving objects have inertia, objects can be elastic, etc. You could apply some of those principles to moving and resizing windows that would make Windows 7 touch look very slick.

  30. sroussey@network54.com says:

    @Aeon-Slayer:

    If the other Toshiba supports it on Linux, I guess it might be a synaptics touchpad. If so you might try downloading the driver yourself:

    http://www.synaptics.com/support/drivers

    Even with the driver installed, there is likely an option setting to activate gestures.

    Here is a description of how to use the gestures when activated:

    http://www.synaptics.com/sites/default/files/touchpad_gestures_pb.pdf

  31. Eghost says:

    Touch support, while an interesting and upcoming technology, it is by far in mainstream use.  Yet multi-monitor support is barely discernible from Windows 2000. Why is Microsoft not improving the multi-monitor aspect of Windows 7?  

  32. csmikle says:

    Warel,

    "Where is the possibility to choose the pictures to be imported from a digital camera, and not having to import everything or nothing?"

    Windows Live Photo Gallery has excellent import options.

    Your other questions have also already been answered, like the New Folder shortcut in Explorer.

  33. marcinw says:

    @Eghost,

    I and many people are addressing similar questions about some aspects of new system (why something was not done).

    In my opinion, there are at least few possible reasons, that MS doesn’t do very much with multiple monitors support:

    1. touch support is very spectacular and can be easy advertised, "old" functions can’t (they were in older Windows)

    2. mobile devices (notebooks, etc.) are more and more popular (and will be mainstream probably) and many of them can get touch support. many users will use touch support, but not many monitors…

    3. touching many monitors support can make, that some applications will not work and MS is probably very, very afraid of it. Adding new functions doesn’t affect old apps so much.

    In other words: instead of making Seven inside revolution MS made evolution and many old issues are still not resolved. It was easier for corporation, but will only snooze some problems. The worst thing is, that in the future it can be more difficult to resolve them.

  34. marcinw says:

    about point 3: touching many monitors support can make, that some applications will not work and MS is probably very, very afraid of it. Adding new functions doesn’t affect old apps so much, when it’s done "correctly"

  35. zorkor says:

    Come on guys, this Windows Touch thing is a GREAT feature. I always thought that the tablet PC features of Windows Vista has always been lackluster. I mean you cannot scroll webpages, document without getting frustrated.

    I cant wait to test these cool touch features on my HP Tablet PC.

    I am already using Vista and Windows 7 and Windows 7 simply rocks but needs more speed and unique features.

  36. Eghost says:

    @marcinw

    I agree with you my friend, heres some points.

    1)Let.s see they could have bought Ultra Monitor, would not have to do much to make that work.  Yet some how I feel that Microsoft is immensely better that a small company like ultra monitor and if ultra monitor can do what they do with their limited resources imagine what Microsoft could do with theirs.

    2) right now multi-monitors are a lot more mainstream than touch screes, that is unless you count cash registers then I’m quite sure touch screen are a lot more prevalent, but alas they are running windows xp /2000.

    3) if their afraid of multiple touch monitors,I can’t blame them that would be exceptionally expensive, so the easy answer is for them would be to limit touch screen monitor to one. limiting Windows is nothing new to Microsoft they been doing since Vista.  XP is a heck of a lot more customizable than Vista.

    4) Bottom line is multiple  monitors are and will continue to be more mainstream than touch monitors for now, and Windows 7 is really now.

    In closing I don’t believe in walking away from a problem, I believe you should confront it, than adapt, overcome, and survive. As you said, they are going for, "The Spectacular" why because it’s not mainstream yet, so even if there are problems after Windows 7 comes out, it gives them more time to fix it, and they can blame the touch monitors companies for not adhering to Microsoft guidelines.  

    Again all I ask is Multi Monitor is Here, and Now why not support it? It would not hurt and it’s really not that insurmountable, because because a little limited resourced company like Ultra-Monitor has figured most of it out, you think Microsoft would be able to to it…..  

  37. caywen says:

    This touch interface is looking great! Just one suggestion for the box though:

    I’d really love the ability to drag windows by touching 3 fingers to the surface of the window and dragging. I know some apps might use 3-finger touching, and those apps could override the behavior. But it sure would beat hunting for the caption bar. Also, if you pinched the 3 fingers, the window could resize. Finally, double-tapping 3 fingers to the window area would minimize/maximize.

    If something like that could be done, that would be heaven.

  38. dovella says:

    Windows 7 RC Download today

    http://tinyurl.com/cmey67

  39. Mystereman says:

    I’ve tried reporting this bug through the normal channels, but it hasn’t been addressed, and is a serious showstopper.

    Windows 7’s RDP client is broken when connecting to Windows 2000 terminal servers.  If you connect, then minimize the screen, when you restore, the screen does not redraw itself.  Further, there is a serious lag (even on Gigabit network) and frequent disconnects.

    I know that Windows 2000 is no longer supported, but you can’t let this problem go to RC, much less RTM.  This problem did not exist in build 7000, but every build after that has contained the problem.  

    I hope that someone in the team will at least notice this report and make sure the problem gets fixed for RC.

  40. aullus says:

    I’m here one more time asking you to bring back the windows media player mini-mode. Actualy, it should be defaut when you minimize the wmp window. Please don’t let w7 without it. Great job with all the rest.

  41. Aeon-Slayer says:

    I have a bug I may as well report here, in an irrelevant topic section, which I have sent a feedback on recently.

    When I resume my laptop from blank screen screensaver (i.e. after the screensavers time has elapsed), often the screen (or sections of it) will remain black, until they are "highlighted." So, the maximised firefox window will be blackened, and then when you hover over the close buttons, they will unblacken, and then when you remin/maximise it, it all looks / works fine. But this is an annoying inconvinience, and a problem I have never seen before. I use 3D text screensaver, but I believe the problem has occured with others as well. Running build 7022.

    Just thought the team should know!

    – AeonSlayer / Simon

  42. Esico says:

    Nice demo, I think I see a little problem here. The context menu looks  way too small for my big fingers.

    I like to see a demo about how you would delete files with big fingers because ’cause there is NOWHERE a delete button except on your keyboard (no touch experience here) and the context menu.

    maybe a big delete button in the explore ( next to the new folder button) would be great, easy and obvious.

    please don’t drag it to the bin, that’s too time consuming.

  43. dovella says:

    Excuse me Team

    Any post for new direct 3d AKA Direct X 11 ?

  44. fuchueh says:

    1)

    need keep Menu color layout consistency for Windows 7.

    Please keep color layout consistency for Menu.

    Why the ‘Include in libary’ used another color layout?

    view snapshot:

    http://www.windows7taskforce.com/thumb/mune_color_layout.png/x/560

    2)

    Improve Start Menu and Appliaction Menu color style (suggestion consistency)

    (discriminated Appliaction Menu color very difficult)

    There is no consistency between the Start Menu and the Appliaction Menu.

    To keep Start Menu and Appliaction Menu color style consistency, like Windows XP.

    All use white color for background, light blue color for selected item.

    view snapshot:

    http://www.windows7taskforce.com/thumb/style_consistency5.png/x/560

    3)

    keep theme style consistency for Windows 7

    keep theme style consistency for Menu bar, Tool bar. like Windows XP theme style’s consistency.

    view snapshot:

    http://www.windows7taskforce.com/thumb/style_consistency55.png/x/960

  45. Windows 7 Forum says:

    Now thats a feature I’m looking forward too

  46. basilmir says:

    Hello,

    IF anyone out there in microsoft is reading this.

    PLEASE add audio clicks when using the keyboard to touch type. There is NO feedback and you constantly have to check.

    I can not believe this was overlooked.

    Please also fix the fact that it is very hard to resize windows IF you do not get that few pixels with the double arrow in the first try.

    THANK YOU.

  47. savant says:

    Just out of curiosity,

    does anyone know if pen support will be present for the specified laptops (i.e. Latitude XT) in the May 5 release candidate?

    Would we have to wait for new drivers from N-Trig to gain pen functionality, or will the new Windows RC fix it?

  48. alghonaimy says:

    The touch scrolling or panning is not working in my HP Pavilion tx2000 "windows 7 64bit RC". The panning tab is missing in "pen and touch" sitting!. Is this because tx2000 has single touch or what?

  49. thesis help says:

    I like to see a demo about how you would delete files with big fingers because ’cause there is NOWHERE a delete button except on your keyboard (no touch experience here) and the context menu.

  50. Anonymous says:

    While providing this touchable experience, we made sure you are getting the full Windows 7 experience and not a sub-set just for touch.

  51. Vylen says:

    So windows 7 only has the Tablet PC Settings dialog in the Control Panel iff the machine is a proper tablet pc…

    however, when i was using Vista, the dialog was there, and i changed the handedness there to right-handed and now my menu dropdowns appear right-aligned rather than the normal left….

    i don’t actually use a tablet pc so i can’t change this back…

    it would be nice if i could change it back but i don’t know how – i assme there’s a registry setting somewhere but that’s one giant haystack to look through for a single needle….

    any help would be appreciated

  52. Tim Acheson says:

    Microsoft must now urgently release Windows 7 Server Express.

    Microsoft and its customers really do need a free version of Windows Server:-

    http://www.timacheson.com/Blog/2009/jul/microsoft_must_release_windows_server_express

    "Windows Server Express is the single most important and obvious thing missing from Microsoft’s strategy."

  53. blu ray ripper says:

    Well i have not tired Windows 7 till now. But soon i will be testing W7 myself. Features look good.

  54. Gerardo says:

    thank you for your cooperation please send me h

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  56. i was messing with my computer and now my multi-gesture touchpad wont work what do i do

  57. This is really interesting take on the concept.  I never thought of it that way.  I came across this site recently which I think will be of great use http://www.keetouch.cn/.Have a look!

  58. izdelava spletnih strani says:

    Sandra you should if there’s an option, restore your comp to a earlier time. And the last resort, new installation.

  59. Ole says:

    Windows Mediacenter.

    I need some help, i cant make scroll left/right or up/down with my touch screen in windows mediacenter. I have to touch the scrol buttons. It works in Arcsoft total mediacenter. Do i need a update??? I have a Asus eee top ET2002T

  60. converthdvideo says:

    I need some help,

  61. 5ka Ekipa says:

    Anyhow. Everybody who have Vista should go on windows 7. Its worth!

  62. Amazing  what you can do with windows 7, the upgrade is really a must do.

  63. <a href="http://financearticlesblog.info">Finance Articles</a> says:

    I was very encouraged to find this site. I wanted to thank you for this special read. I definitely savored every little bit of it and I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you post.

  64. Suppose you have a HP Slate says:

    Let's imagine some day we see W7 Slate in stores.

    Is it possible to find out if my web-site is viewed from touch-only device to tweak my UI?

  65. Vivek Sagdeo says:

    Touch is a terrific new improvement especially saving our fingers, wrists and hands from RSI from keyboards and mice.

    I love the touch keyboard and have bought touchs pcs and touch monitors at home and work for me and others in family.

    I WOULD LIKE TO SEE an onscreen mouse application that allows me to control all monitors connected to the system using the mouse on screen.  The logitech touch mouse server is a good model for this though this will run on same machine as we move the mouse with and use touch monitor from the series of monitors.  I am using the on screen keyboard to enter information on all monitors and need an extension of this to mouse so I do no thave to use external mouse.

  66. Windows 7 is designed to provide efficient ways to use multitouch says:

    Are you crazy?! Sinofsky should be fired even just for his work on touch. this looks crazy and ugly. he has not tried to do a single thing with toch during these copuple of years they were "developing".

  67. touchscreenlearner says:

    I have a touch screen computer with windows7. How can I check if my touch screen is multitouch input or single touch input? Thanks!

  68. Morish Kinsley says:

    At this time I was really impressed of the video. However, we have think more on what are the benefits.

    Maybe, we should try encourage other people testimonies about it.

    interlogicindustries.com