What Microsoft has officially shown of Windows 7 is not much and their extremely tight-lipped approach has led to some confusion and false rumors in the past. The D6 Conference took place yesterday and Microsoft, for the first time, demonstrated one of the features of Windows 7 that is most likely part of the retail version.
The demonstration was about multi-touch support in the Windows 7 operating system. The system used to demonstrate the feature was a Dell Latitude XL notebook running Windows 7. The multi-touch technology was borrowed from Microsoft Surface. The interface looks responsive and Microsoft’s Julie Larson-Green is demonstrating various applications for the touch interface including photo manipulation, a mapping application and arts like drawing and playing music.
It does look fluid and nice but the real question is if this is a mass market feature. I would say it is not, at least not for many years to come. I can see that multi-touch makes a lot of sense for various groups but not for the bulk of users. The real problem is probably that touch screens are not mainstream yet either, at least not when looking at desktop computers and notebooks.
It's slowly making a way into the mobile market though and it could very well be that the technology will eventually take over the notebook market as well, but probably not in the next two years.
Update: It is interesting to note that Microsoft is pushing touch in Windows 8, which comes out in October 2012, and it appears that it used the experienced from touch support in Windows 7 to bring the best possible touch experience to users of the operating system. It needs to be noted though that touch systems are still rare in the Windows world. And while Windows 8 will surely drive sales in this regard, it is still a issue for desktop users who usually do not have access to touch screens.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.