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Windows 7 Multitouch Demonstration

CmdrTaco posted more than 6 years ago | from the touch-me-there-oh-and-also-there dept.

329

Starturtle writes "Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer have shown a small snippet of the upcoming Windows 7 at Walt Mossberg's D: All Things Digital conference. It seems like the Windows team have switched their focus for inspiration from Mac OS X to the iPhone OS. Multitouch is the biggest addition, and will appear system-wide, usable anywhere. The most interesting part of the touch UI is not the eye candy, it's the Task Bar, which seems to have morphed into a pie menu."

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great (3, Insightful)

pak9rabid (1011935) | more than 6 years ago | (#23572105)

Another feature that will probably become vaporware. Trying to get the shareholders happy are we?

Re:great (4, Funny)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 6 years ago | (#23572249)

Betting pool anyone?

This feature will be announced as removed March 2009.

Re:great (1)

peragrin (659227) | more than 6 years ago | (#23572339)

heck the second rewrite will happen in may 2009 so your probably right.

How they will break apple's multi touch patents (5, Funny)

goombah99 (560566) | more than 6 years ago | (#23572397)

Apple has been patenting a lot of aspects of multi-touch. I assume this is possible because they purchased the right to do so from the original "inventors".

IN any case when asked how Windows7 will support the "pinch" feature they demoed without violating apple's patent, the spokesman said that like Longhorn, windows 7 won't arrive till those patents are well expired.

Re:How they will break apple's multi touch patents (5, Insightful)

Tufriast (824996) | more than 6 years ago | (#23572709)

I see one problem with all this: Where's the beef? It is nice to see that we're moving forward with the GUI - but does it do anything good? I've used a wide variety of OSes and I can say without a doubt this does little to advance the GUI as I see it. I think that touch interfaces are great on non-desktop oriented environments, but beyond that...I'm not so sure touch SCREENS really make sense. I'm not going to be touching a 24 inch monitor - plain and simple. It's big, expensive, and I would hate for it to look all finger-printed and messy. I want to see a touchscreen "panel" or "keyboard" or "control pad" - not this.

Re:How they will break apple's multi touch patents (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23572843)

I would touch a 24" monitor that was designed to be touched, like an iphone. My iphone gets smudged and such but I almost never notice it at normal viewing angles.

Fact is most UIs are lousy. I don't think adding multi touch really qualifies as an improvement on its own, more like an improvement to input devices, but if it happens to carry along smarter use of screen space and improved ability to size on screen objects to optimum, etc etc, I'm all for it. I'd like to see some work go into something other than decoration.

I just don't see screen smudging being a deal breaker unless you're the type who eats a lot of gravy with your hands.

Re:great (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23572399)

I sense a Micro$oft fanboi with modpoints

Why is this modded flamebait? (5, Insightful)

zeromorph (1009305) | more than 6 years ago | (#23572665)

Why is this modded flamebait?

If we take the history of Longhorn/Vista into account, it's very much possible that it will never be realized on a real production level. Disclosing it now, is clearly a move to stay in the news, which is mainly relevant the stock market.

Come on, what were the last great news from Redmond? They clearly need some publicity, so yes it might be vaporware.

Remove MinWin and Win7 becomes Vista Release 2 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23572765)

If MinWin is removed out of Win7, then the "new" product could leverage a lot of the existing work already done with Vista and the work for MinWin can be saved for release in the next operating system. MinWin seems better for a distributed operating system which is closer to the "no major OS model" of future networked hardware. So in some ways, spending more time to make MinWin more compatible to that future (and thus removing it from Win7) makes financial sense.

So, will Microsoft succumb and make Win7 into a "Vista Release 2"?

Wonderful... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23572111)

Because finger marks all over my monitor is just what I wanted!

Re:Wonderful... (3, Informative)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#23572849)

Ever play Megatouch?

They're in all the bars. Small one piece computers loaded with games, no keyboards. Older ones have CRTs, newer ones have flat screens. A very few have joysticks, most don't. The only input devices are a coin slot, a dollar bill slot, and a touch screen. Despite the fact that dozens of people a day have their hands all over the screen (since that's the only way to play them), they in fact don't have fingerprints on them.

BTW, they run Linux as their OS, as I saw one day when a bartender accidentally unplugged one.

I wonder if "megatouch" is where they git the "multitouch" name. It's the same thing, only Windows instead of Linux.

So ? (-1, Troll)

unity100 (970058) | more than 6 years ago | (#23572157)

they basically let vista down now. even before they made it a stable product ?

Nooo!!!! (-1, Offtopic)

Mordok-DestroyerOfWo (1000167) | more than 6 years ago | (#23572161)

Bad touch...bad touch!

Pie menu? (4, Funny)

bennomatic (691188) | more than 6 years ago | (#23572163)

Mmm... pie...

Re:Pie menu? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23572569)

It appears that you are trying to choose a pie. Allow/deny?

Re:Pie menu? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23572831)

deny.

the future of technology will deny you from eating what you shouldn't be eating in the first place.

This is the only hope for people to survive. I mean honestly, you can't even pretend to know what you need or want.

windows 7 pshh.... you all claimed that XP sucked and that the only smart people will stick with 2k forever...

Re:Pie menu? (3, Funny)

amnezick (1253408) | more than 6 years ago | (#23572753)

mmmm "Apple" pie

Correction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23572191)

Actually, I believe MS was researching multitouch a la Surface either before or concurrently with the iPhone development cycle.

Also, I'll believe it when I see it.

Re:Correction (3, Interesting)

peragrin (659227) | more than 6 years ago | (#23572423)

Given that apple probably spent 2 years working on their own touch system for the iPhone before it was even announced you might want to check your dates.

Besides touch tech has been going back to the 1980's it just is starting to become practical. personally there are a lot of interfaces that are perfect for touch input methods.

Telemarketing call centers, restaurants are already using it, retail POS, kiosks, etc.

multi-point touch is going to be a key third input method. the mouse and keyboard are the first two.

Re:Correction (4, Insightful)

NothingMore (943591) | more than 6 years ago | (#23572589)

I Agree with your assessment, the touch display will be the third major input device. Touch still has a way to go (mostly price wise) before it reaches the end consumer as a household product. As you stated touch already has a big presence in the commercial world (and i expect that the touch screen will continue to make large advances in that area). This particular demo by microsoft seemed to lean towards the consumer when in reality this is a feature they will more heavily market toward (and be most useful to) commercial organizations.

Re:Correction (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23572773)

Given that apple probably spent 2 years working on their own touch system for the iPhone before it was even announced you might want to check your dates.

What dates? No dates were mentioned in the original comment, just an observation that Microsoft was working on their own technology before Apple introduced the iPhone and therefore, probably didn't steal the idea from Apple. But FWIW, Microsoft was working on multi-touch at least as far back as 2003.

There seems to be an assumption that if Apple introduces a technology first then any other company introducing similar technology is just stealing the ideas from them. While Microsoft has certainly been guilty of this, they don't always do so.

multi touch (-1, Troll)

slackoon (997078) | more than 6 years ago | (#23572195)

I know the post says that multi touch is a copy from the MAC but really...I was using multi touch on my MAC 4-5 years ago. Just how far behind is Windows going to get before people stop using it? All hail MAC OS and of course, Linux

Re:multi touch (4, Insightful)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 6 years ago | (#23572443)

"I was using multi touch on my MAC 4-5 years ago. "

Not like this, you weren't. The closest you might have come is if you've used an iPhone. Even then, what Microsoft showed was fancier. Watch the video.

Re:multi touch (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23572445)

rubbing your computer in an erotic manner with both hands does not constitute multi-touch in the technical sense.

-S

Re:multi touch (2, Funny)

willyhill (965620) | more than 6 years ago | (#23572511)

I was using multi touch on my MAC 4-5 years ago.

John Titor! I just *knew* I'd run into you on Slashdot. Eventually.

Re:multi touch (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23572671)

You were using multi-touch on your network card?

Alias/Wavefront the patent holder? (2, Informative)

Krishnoid (984597) | more than 6 years ago | (#23572199)

I thought A/W was the patent-holder for 'Marking Menus' (at least it was in the 1990s).

Re:Alias/Wavefront the patent holder? (4, Informative)

jcr (53032) | more than 6 years ago | (#23572481)

A/W may have gotten a patent on a particular form of pie menu, but Don Hopkins invented it.

-jcr

Rotary telephone (1)

goombah99 (560566) | more than 6 years ago | (#23572637)

Back when there rotary telephones companies used to offer these cardboard circular menus you could tuck behind the dial to act as a menu for accessing features on their phone-sites.

seems to me that wedge shaped text windows and western linear text is just not going to be a good meet up once the wedge get small. (asian pictograms might be another story however) maybe it will work for the top level file-edit-view type menu however or a few contextual items like cut-paste.

plus usage studies how it take 47 muscles to make a rotary motion and only 4 to give the finger.

System-wide, usable anywhere? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23572221)

Awesome! I can't wait to see how the malware authors use this new technology.

Is Someone Hungry? (4, Funny)

FurtiveGlancer (1274746) | more than 6 years ago | (#23572231)

"The most interesting part of the touch UI is not the eye candy, it's the Task Bar, which seems to have morphed into a pie menu."
Emphasis added.

First donut universes, now candy bars and pies. Just go to lunch, you insenitive clods.

Here lies the body of Vista (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23572279)

Vista, b. 2007, to William and Steven Gates-Ballmer. Laid to rest in 2008 by his parents after a long, painful illness and stunted childhood. Survived by his older brother, Windows XP. May God rest his soul.

Monitor wipes (1)

blindd0t (855876) | more than 6 years ago | (#23572281)

Nevermind sticky keys on keyboards. I need to invest in some stock with companies that make monitor wipes!

Re:Monitor wipes (1)

itsthebin (725864) | more than 6 years ago | (#23572799)

or a windscreen wiper on your monitor - maybe little spray jets

would be useful now for those that yell flinging forth spittle

makes no sense... (4, Interesting)

jgarra23 (1109651) | more than 6 years ago | (#23572299)

Why 2 articles so close about what WON'T be in Windows 7 and now what WILL be in Windows 7... ? Maybe I'm not seeing the forest for the trees but what kind of marketing tactics are these?

For instance in the movie industry... in a highly anticipated movie, let's say a book-to-movie one, you never hear about what they've LEFT OUT until the reviews start pouring in. OTOH, we hear "all about the great scene from the book that's also in the movie"... well before the reviews in the previews or buzz...

Or with Apple announcements we hear at best rumors about what will & won't be in it...

and then we hear from Microsoft a while back (forgive me for not recalling the article) that there won't be much external buzz about the contents of Windows 7 & that development will be much more "sealed" or "internal" for lack of better words...

so why the change of heart? Why are we hearing so much about what will & won't be there? There has to be more reason to this than to just generate some sort of overall interest via marketing in this respect, and I'm wondering beyond the typical answer "...because their last OS sucked ass" mainly because that answer doesn't really answer anything... any more insightful ideas?

Re:makes no sense... (2, Interesting)

owlnation (858981) | more than 6 years ago | (#23572513)

Why 2 articles so close about what WON'T be in Windows 7 and now what WILL be in Windows 7... ?
What it does is allow us to see that there's no lessons learned from Vista. In the previous article we learned that meaningful and useful features would not be included. In this article we've learned that there will be even more eye candy.

Sound familiar?

Next they'll be telling us Windows 7 is delayed... (count on it)

Re:makes no sense... (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#23572809)

Sound familiar?
Yeah, that's what I just said [slashdot.org] . GMTA. :D

Re:makes no sense... (1)

grm_wnr (781219) | more than 6 years ago | (#23572827)

In the previous article we learned that meaningful and useful features would not be included.
No, in the previous article we learned that something that never was meant to be in it and does not even matter at all (the MinWin kernel) will not be in fact, included. In this one we learn that W7 is still far too slow to make its new GUI usable. Did nobody notice how laggy that thing is? I wouldn't want to use that.

Re:makes no sense... (2, Interesting)

SBrach (1073190) | more than 6 years ago | (#23572583)

Because unlike Apple Microsofts primary customers are Enterprises. Planning 5 years in advance is useless when all you have is rumors.

Re:makes no sense... (4, Interesting)

Jason Levine (196982) | more than 6 years ago | (#23572759)

In Microsoft's defense, there's a thin line they have to walk here. People already aren't enthused about Vista. If they hype up Windows 7 too much then they lose Vista sales to people who would rather wait for Windows 7. Plus, they run the risk of having to cut features, thus bursting the hype bubble, disappointing those people who waited through Vista for Windows 7, and losing more customers to Apple (and possibly to Linux as well). If, however, they don't hype Windows 7 enough, then people will see Vista as Microsoft's only option and will seriously look at Apple (and possibly Linux as well) for their future upgrade paths. This scares Microsoft as it is harder to convince an "Apple convert" to come back to Windows than it will be to convince XP holdouts (like myself) to upgrade to Windows 7.

Why? (1)

el_chupanegre (1052384) | more than 6 years ago | (#23572317)

As the article states itself, why is this actually a demo of Windows 7? All of those things could be implemented in XP or Vista surely.

If they think I'm buying a whole new laptop and tiring my arms out just for that, they're badly mistaken.

Useless (4, Insightful)

VisceralLogic (911294) | more than 6 years ago | (#23572319)

The vast majority of people aren't going to be using touch screens... this is just for show. There's a reason this doesn't already exist in OS X.

Re:Useless (2, Insightful)

oahazmatt (868057) | more than 6 years ago | (#23572355)

The vast majority of people aren't going to be using touch screens... this is just for show. There's a reason this doesn't already exist in OS X.
I agree. I was wondering if this was a case of "innovation for the better" or "innovation for the sake of innovation". I keep leaning towards the latter.

Re:Useless (1)

peragrin (659227) | more than 6 years ago | (#23572525)

That's just it MSFT is trying to move beyond the vast majority of people.

touch screens are used daily by tens of thousands of people around you right now(assuming your living in a city). Every Burger king, restaurant, etc are slowly switching to touch screen inputs. Go to your local chain restaurant and look around. I bet you find 3-4 touch screens for the wait staff to input your orders onto.

Also OS X has support for gesture touch input right now. it is built into every laptop. it isn't true multi point touch but it does pick up multi point contacts for gestures. Heck my G4 powerbook running 10.4 with a software driver update(3rd paty) supports gestures multi touch. I use it to give it scroll on the touch pad.

Re:Useless (2, Insightful)

clampolo (1159617) | more than 6 years ago | (#23572835)

It seems pretty cool. Could be fun to program in an editor that will take advantage of it. My worry is with having to buy an expensive new monitor to use it.

Re:Useless (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23572673)

yeah, because touch screen phones aren't the largest emerging market (this is happening outside of the iphone folks, open your eyes). we already see the touch screens in every business. touch pads are big on laptops.

you really think people don't want this technology at home? think again.

odd how the little geeks love to see this in movies and on star trek but when microsoft makes a move to have touchscreen as a common human interface everyone cries that it's a bad idea.

i wonder if it would be the same story if it was jobs doing this instead? would the fanbois and ms naysayers be hailing it as the 'thank god, at last!' movement away from the 'out dated, clunky' mouse?

why? (3, Insightful)

evilkasper (1292798) | more than 6 years ago | (#23572321)

why would they add multi touch? Does windows need this feature? My main gripe with Vista is that it is not a good platform for business. I was really hoping Windows 7 would be more of a corporate OS, but with them showcasing all these superficial eye candy features I am inclined to think that we will see something more akin to Vista on roids.

Pie menu. (1)

BForrester (946915) | more than 6 years ago | (#23572325)

I'll take a slice of strawberry rhubarb, thanks.

Pie menus again? (5, Insightful)

jandrese (485) | more than 6 years ago | (#23572329)

Pie menus are one of those things that get a lot of attention in academic circles because they have some obvious advantages (menu choices are always the same distance away), but in the real word they always run into problems. The first and biggest problem is scaling. How many items do you have on your start menu right now? How big would the pie get to accommodate all of them? Other problems include what do do when someone clicks on the edge of the screen and how to make it so the user can browse through submenus if they have to (a common operation when you're not sure where something is and you have to hunt for it).

None of these problems are impossible to deal with, but I've yet to see a pie menu system that even attempted to. I would be surprised if Windows 7 ships with pie menus, at least for the start menu.

There are cases where pie menus make a lot of sense, but those tend to be cases where the number of options are relatively small and never change, like in drawing programs.

Re:Pie menus again? (5, Insightful)

Nodlehs (860786) | more than 6 years ago | (#23572635)

It seemed to me the task bar was the way it has always been in the initial portion of the video (The entire time he is manipulating photo's is a normal taskbar. Then they went to the full screen map program, which looked like a pie menu for the program options (IE: toggle satellite view, etc). I don't think their normal taskbar is going anywhere, I think the wired article got it wrong.

Practically possible? (5, Insightful)

esarjeant (100503) | more than 6 years ago | (#23572343)

An interesting extension of the multi-touch, although it tends to make more sense on something like Surface or the iPod Touch where keyboard input isn't possible.

I'm not sure how practical this configuration would be. Desktop computers and laptops currently rely on the keyboard and mouse input paradigm, while it may be possible to learn another skill (touching your screen) this will be even more time consuming than moving between the keyboard and the mouse.

Maybe some kiosk applications and the tablet edition of Vista will be viable, I just don't see how this can be deployed to the desktop in a practical fashion.

Re:Practically possible? (2, Insightful)

Kjella (173770) | more than 6 years ago | (#23572845)

The desktop, no. The laptop, which will be most of the market? Well maybe, because I know many people that have trouble using either a mouse button or a touchpad, which are both quite sensitive devices. An external mouse is much easier but requires a reasonably flat surface to function, which may not be that easy plus it's a another item to keep with you at all times. If they got a 15" screen to aim at, perhaps they'll find it easier to just use touch, though I would get annoyed by greasy fingerprints on my screen. If you're a FPS monkey, don't even think of it. Think of that 50 year old user just trying to hit the play button and can't remember keyboard shortcuts worth shit.

Anonymous Coward (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23572345)

Nevermind the fact that Gates has been investing in touch tech for over a decade? Nah, forget that, must be copied from Jobs' amazing playbook, right?

Hate to burst your bubble, but Mac shit's all been done before -- they haven't done anything "innovative" since their creation.

Nothing interesting here... (2, Insightful)

binaryspiral (784263) | more than 6 years ago | (#23572359)

Multi-touch isn't going to help me do my job any easier and I really don't want users pinching and dragging their dirty mits around the new LCD monitors...

In the end though, these features will be in the Ultimate Uber Windows 7, not the version I'll be getting for our desktop users due to costs. We'll end up with yet more of the same features, renamed, and shuffled around in the OS just enough to justify retraining.

So what does that leave me with Windows 7? Looking for desktop alternatives or hoping they extend the XP licensing and support for a few more years.

what they should be doing (2, Insightful)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 6 years ago | (#23572361)

To quote someone who posted in the original article, "And all I wanted from an operating system was a stable platform that boots in less than five seconds, and that supports applications and other hardware well. I guess I have to go back to my desk and wait some more for an ideal OS?"

Seriously, does anyone have any hope at all for Windows 7? As far as I can tell, the development model is still the same as what produced vista. When Apple comes out with a new OS, I am reasonably sure that it will be snappier, and have some new features that at very least don't get in the way. Looking forward to the next Windows, I have doubts that Microsoft can do anything at all, except make it worse. Maybe I'm wrong, but what evidence is there to prove me wrong? (and please nobody pull out the old argument that Microsoft never keeps working at things until they get it right. It's not true for a number of reasons).

The WOW really DOES start now! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23572367)

Wow! It's so different!

I mean, what next, their going to have a dock too? Oh wait...

: - O

Offtopic: Why do graphics still suck? (2, Insightful)

JustinOpinion (1246824) | more than 6 years ago | (#23572377)

Okay, this is slightly off-topic, but: Why is it that even with our modern hardware, graphics are sometimes still very laggy?

If you look at the start of the video in TFA, you'll see a demo where images are being dragged around via multi-touch. The thing that really bothers me is that the movement of the image is lagging behind the person's finger. My question is: why? Modern hardware is very fast and powerful. The demo computer probably had awesome specs, including a dedicated high-end graphics card. I have trouble believing that this kind of hardware can't update an image position at video rates.

The obvious answer is that the code isn't good. Perhaps it just hasn't been optimized (maybe it's just a tech demo). But frequently even in final implementations I see this kind of behavior.

One of the main ideas with multi-touch displays (and dragging to scroll, zoom, etc.) is to generate an "intuitive" interface that responds in a very "natural" way. But in my opinion, you totally ruin the desired natural immersion if the display cannot keep up with your actions. After all, the idea is to somewhat simulate physical interaction (e.g. shuffling papers)... but in physical reality, we don't experience any kind of "lag" waiting for physics to catch-up.

So, I think more effort should be put into cleaning up those kinds of things. It may seem like a trivial point, but those kinds of details can subtly but crucially affect the user experience (and can mean the difference between an interface that seems to respond to your thoughts, vs. one that is frustrating). I should note that this is an area where Apple has frequently done the right thing. They seem to put a lot of effort into making display transitions very fast and smooth.

Re:Offtopic: Why do graphics still suck? (1)

jcr (53032) | more than 6 years ago | (#23572441)

The obvious answer is that the code isn't good.

Got it, first guess.

-jcr

Re:Offtopic: Why do graphics still suck? (5, Insightful)

TechyImmigrant (175943) | more than 6 years ago | (#23572695)

The obvious answer is that the code isn't good.

Got it, first guess.

-jcr
The trouble is, when you put together an unoptimized, unscalable, hastily coded demo to prove the feasibility of something or to make a stopgap before the real version is available the code *lasts forever*. The real version doesn't come and hack is laid on top of hack to make the demo the real thing and you own it.

Hence the quickie stopgap I put together in shell scripts and python in three months is now production code critical to a multi billion dollar business and it regularly demands attention from me and only me. The team of programmers didn't arrive.

I expect this will be no different.

Cover Flow (1)

16K Ram Pack (690082) | more than 6 years ago | (#23572383)

Can someone explain the attraction of this? Sure, it might look cool, but if you want to find an album/photo, surely showing the pictures as a grid is quicker?

Re:Cover Flow (3, Insightful)

krzy123 (1201507) | more than 6 years ago | (#23572509)

There is none. It's just marketing.

Re:Cover Flow (1)

piemcfly (1232770) | more than 6 years ago | (#23572549)

most people I know don't understand this concept of 'efficiency'.

They browse all their folders in thumbnail mode. Or even worse, 'tile' mode, so they don't even get the added advantage of images.

I tried to get a couple of people I know to use a tree-view in explorer, but it was wasted time. They all went back to the 'cool looking' huge icons.

or to just dumping all their files on the desktop. that's another of my pet peeves, people who don't keep their desktops tidy. Ugh.

Re:Cover Flow (1)

minniger (32861) | more than 6 years ago | (#23572675)

It depends on what you are trying to do. Find something in particular or just browsing.

For finding a specific album it's not so great.

For browsing your collection it can be useful. The album art can grab your attention in ways the plain name never can. And you'll find yourself picking things out based on the 'mood' of the artwork. Which was part of the whole experience way back when.

The grid view can't really show you the same size artwork and let you quickly skim through things. Coverflow does.

Re:Cover Flow (1)

youthoftoday (975074) | more than 6 years ago | (#23572687)

People go with what feels good. Efficiency feels good because it gives us the feeling of having achieved something in little time. Good design feels good because it gives us the feeling of having achieved something without raising our blood pressure. Coverflow gives us a good feeling because ... have you tried it? It's great! Everything comes down to feelings. We're animals after all. And to dismiss one imperative over another is to deny that.

Re:Cover Flow (1)

Drakin020 (980931) | more than 6 years ago | (#23572889)

Sure, it might look cool

That's just it. It looks cool. That's all that most people care about these days.

OLPC pie menu? (3, Informative)

feranick (858651) | more than 6 years ago | (#23572421)

The XO has exactly the same type of pie menu to switch from one application to another. Nothing new.

Re:OLPC pie menu? (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 6 years ago | (#23572751)

Ding! Ding! We have a wiener!

The XO has exactly the same type of pie menu to switch from one application to another. Nothing new.

Windows 7 = Sugar [laptop.org] + XP. No wonder Microsoft wanted to get involved in the OLPC project.

stupid! (1)

ILuvRamen (1026668) | more than 6 years ago | (#23572427)

Oh boy, they're giving the world really greasy, dirty screens and cute, useless time wasters! Good thing they're working on that instead of security, useability, or generally making it not suck. I think they're gonna pull an ME and just really quickly throw together a bunch of crap on top of Vista and call it a new OS when they should be redesigning the entire thing. I for one am about 10x faster with a mouse than my fingers and a bunch of tilted, 3D objects lying around in my programs is gonna drive me crazy. I like neatness, not fun looking chaos. I think they're actually determined to turn windows into an idiot's OS for new computer users and 10 year olds and all the serious people will use Linux.

MS Paint (1)

gzipped_tar (1151931) | more than 6 years ago | (#23572453)

TFA's last picture is a shot of hand-drawing with MS Paint.

Can anyone with psychoanalysis knowledge explain the impulse hidden in that piece of drawing?

enough! (1)

ZonkerWilliam (953437) | more than 6 years ago | (#23572479)

Ya Multi-touch is cool, but it's been done to Death [mortalspaces.com] .

But where's the Brain-Computer interface? [mg.co.za] Heck, I would even go for real-time voice recognition!

And glass cleaner sales go through the roof... (5, Insightful)

ivanmarsh (634711) | more than 6 years ago | (#23572487)

I have no interest in touching my screen until they invent technology impervious to fingerprints.

Who cares. (1)

HerculesMO (693085) | more than 6 years ago | (#23572491)

Give me WinFS -- that's the best technology idea that Windows has had in a long time, and it got shelved for Vista... no excuse now why it shouldn't come out with Windows 7.

Task bar? What? (1)

pdusen (1146399) | more than 6 years ago | (#23572527)

The most interesting part of the touch UI is not the eye candy, it's the Task Bar, which seems to have morphed into a pie menu.
What the heck are they talking about? The task bar is still there, plain as day, at the beginning of the presentation. The only place you see a pie menu is during the maps manipulation segment, and that may just be the nature of the application.

really (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23572535)

Is touch really the wave of the future? You can be pixel precise with a mouse, but they want to introduce the concept of "fat fingering" to my desktop? Fat fingering.... lol.

Excitement (1)

LuminaireX (949185) | more than 6 years ago | (#23572543)

Could it be? A version of Windows that people might actually get excited about? Here's hoping that Microsoft will create a successor product that the market might actually enjoy and accept willingly, instead of coercing consumers into adopting a product that's arguably inferior to the one it was intended to replace.

As an aside, I can see how this would be useful for travelers and business folk on the go, but multitouch is rather pointless for your average worker doing data entry 8 hours a day.

Re:Excitement (1)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 6 years ago | (#23572953)

Vista was probably the New Coke of Windows... unfortunately, Windows 7 seems to be taking more of a "New Coke Ultra Cystal Lite Cola" approach, rather than a "Coke Classic" approach.

I predict failure. It sure is pretty, though.

Drivers (3, Insightful)

Telvin_3d (855514) | more than 6 years ago | (#23572547)

Multitouch? This is the big thing that will sell the next windows? This is not a OS feature. This is a driver for a specific class of hardware. People with Wacom Cintiq tablets have been doing the exact same thing for years now.

Not to mention that there is no support for this. After all, how many people/corporations buying commodity windows hardware are going to pay the premium to get all their screens with high quality touch?

Also, pie menu is interesting, but problematic. Does it float over the other windows or sit under? Can it be moved around? Will we have to alt-tab to get to the Start menu? How nice will it play with multiple screen setups and other non standard desktop layouts?

Re:Drivers (4, Informative)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 6 years ago | (#23572781)

I'm losing my chance to moderate so I can reply to this. Yes, it is an OS feature. Simple gesture support for devices is easy to do in a driver, but is nowhere near what you really want out of multitouch. An ideal implementation should allow applications to deal with multiple simultaneous touches, drag events, etc. simultaneously. For example, an audio editor application should allow me to use three fingers to push three sliders simultaneously up and ride them while a finger on my other hand touches a mute button on channel 3 to pull it out of the mix because I'm planning to cut that 30 seconds out but haven't had a chance to do it yet.

To handle such things, the application must be able to simultaneously get multiple touch events at different locations that indicate that a finger has gone down at a particular spot and now is moving in a particular manner. These finger events must then remain individually trackable. To handle this correctly requires significant extensions to the event system of the host OS, probably on an opt-in basis to avoid confusing applications that only support simple events like click/drag or lightweight touch events like zoom in/zoom out. Therefore, it pretty much has to be an OS feature.

The only way I can think of to do this without OS changes would be to allow an application to capture the device and take exclusive control and communicate with it directly outside of normal OS channels (e.g. a user client). Those sorts of designs are okay for specialized devices like tablets that only one or two apps will ever care about, but they are hardly ideal for input devices that are intended to be general purpose.

Re:Drivers (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#23572887)

Also, pie menu is interesting, but problematic. Does it float over the other windows or sit under? Can it be moved around? Will we have to alt-tab to get to the Start menu? How nice will it play with multiple screen setups and other non standard desktop layouts?
Well, I would imagine it might be not unlike the pie menus available for Firefox [mozdev.org] . I tried them, but frankly, with a mouse, I find them to be a bit of pain, personally. As always, YMMV.

mod 04 (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23572551)

[idge.net] of HIV and other there are only everyday...We It's going, end, we need you Keed to be Kreskin long time FreeBSD that has grown up to this. For 200 running NT 'You see, even Gains market share *BSD has lost more same worthless In addition, OS I do, because a relatively w0rse and worse. As world will have and committees = 36400 FreeBSD people already; I'm codebase became appeared...saying the channel to sign to use the GNAA

This will fail miserably (1)

AssTard (684911) | more than 6 years ago | (#23572597)

Seriously yeah it might be NEAT for about ten minutes that you can touch stuff on your screen but who wants to touch there scrreen all the time, what? Nobody wants to be reaching over there keyboard and stuff all the time. Why bother when you have a perfectly good mouse and keybaord. This is just dumb fancy crap that nobody gives a shit about but they waste time on rather than making everything elose run good. Those dman bastards!!!!!!

Pie / Cake (1)

bernywork (57298) | more than 6 years ago | (#23572605)

There is no cake!

Re:Pie / Cake (1)

bernywork (57298) | more than 6 years ago | (#23572679)

That was supposed to be "The cake is a lie"

And 101 people taking the piss out of me on slashdot begins... now.

Slow (5, Interesting)

wonkavader (605434) | more than 6 years ago | (#23572609)

I notice that this machine redraws on zooms quickly, and creates a travel route quickly. That means the box has some real horsepower.

And yet, the dragging is way behind the finger, the responses of input and menu popup is slow -- it looks like running a modern paint program on an old machine.

This is not going to make for a pleasant user experience. Why is that stuff so uncrisp?

Re:Slow (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23572911)

I notice that this machine redraws on zooms quickly, and creates a travel route quickly. That means the box has some real horsepower.

And yet, the dragging is way behind the finger, the responses of input and menu popup is slow -- it looks like running a modern paint program on an old machine.

This is not going to make for a pleasant user experience. Why is that stuff so uncrisp?
It is still a early pre-release. Give Microsoft time and they can slow down the redraw and zoom also.

Finally Something Is Being Done About the Taskbar (0, Redundant)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | more than 6 years ago | (#23572629)

Finally, something is being done about the taskbar. It's a neat enough interface if you have only a few windows open, but quickly becomes a useless waste of screen space once you open more windows. I'm happy that Microsoft is finally rethinking the idea. There are various alternatives that would be better, so the chance for improvement is certainly there. And here's to hoping GNOME and KDE will follow suit and improve theirs...

Sound (1)

MikeyG79 (225212) | more than 6 years ago | (#23572641)

Great, but will it support my SoundBlaster?

7 = vista + new HID + taskbar? (1)

OMGZombies (1283092) | more than 6 years ago | (#23572647)

Is that what Windows 7 is supposed to be? Vista + New Input Human Device Driver + Funky Taskbar?
If so, they'd better start pulling an Apple and consider it an "incremental" upgrade, with modest prices. Who'd pay full OS price for that?

Re:7 = vista + new HID + taskbar? (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#23572935)

Is that what Windows 7 is supposed to be? Vista + New Input Human Device Driver + Funky Taskbar? If so, they'd better start pulling an Apple and consider it an "incremental" upgrade, with modest prices. Who'd pay full OS price for that?
Fanbois, shills and astroturfers.

Incorrect (and irritating) grammar (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23572651)

> "the Windows team have switched their focus"

The Windows team HAS switched their focus.

It seems like during the last few years, the word TEAM, and the names of companies have turned into plurals. Folks post with "Microsoft ARE releasing a patch," and "Apple ARE filing a patent." It's wrong, folks! I heard the narrator on Mythbusters say, "The team ARE," and "The trio ARE" repeatedly. What's up with this?

Really useful ? (1)

olivier69 (1176459) | more than 6 years ago | (#23572659)

Great, we won't have a new rewritten, more powerful, more efficient Windows kernel (see http://tech.slashdot.org/tech/08/05/28/0315244.shtml [slashdot.org] ), but we'll have eye-candy features that should be userland side. Just in line with Vista. Thank you MS. I really think the "MinWin" project would have been better for users.

Multitouch? (1)

Khyber (864651) | more than 6 years ago | (#23572685)

Just how many computers have a touch screen built in? I'm excluding POS systems and ATMs. I don't think one out of every one hundred thousand consumer PCs have a touch screen, let alone one out of a million!

Multi crash (2, Funny)

192939495969798999 (58312) | more than 6 years ago | (#23572701)

Multi-touch will be accompanied by multi-crash, where Windows tries to compete with multiple apps for kernel priority at the same time from you trying to touch multiple things, and then they will all independently crash! yay.

I hate fingerprints on my screen (1)

Spassoklabanias (1295839) | more than 6 years ago | (#23572787)

Excluding the productivity part, since in my opinion this is clearly anti-productive, if anyone comes near my screen and starts touching it, I'll go bananas.

Re:I hate fingerprints on my screen (1)

joocemann (1273720) | more than 6 years ago | (#23572839)

I agree. No cheetos or buttery popcorn around the computer anymore, thats for sure. This whole thing looks gimmicky anyway, nothing worth talking about.

Whoa! (1)

Junior J. Junior III (192702) | more than 6 years ago | (#23572811)

Wonders of miniaturization! HOW did MS manage to cram an ENTIRE big-ass coffee table into a tiny little tablet PC? AMAZING.

This will be so cool. I can't wait for this feature to get dropped from Windows 7.

What we really need is... (1)

DarrenBaker (322210) | more than 6 years ago | (#23572861)

...a multi-touch mousepad that we can use instead of mice, with support for customisable gestures. One that we can use TODAY with existing hardware.

But then that's just my opinion.

Windows 7 (1)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 6 years ago | (#23572885)

Same old fatty untasty and unhealthy cake (well, pie?) with a cherry on top.

If the big news on it is that add something that a device driver for specific hardware could do (they didnt introduced a totally new OS for the new mouse wheel back in its own time), and nothing related with architecture, security or bloat, then will keep the same old problems gaining something that is already for the other platforms (OS X have multitouch, and probably MPX will be available in most linux distributions by then).

At least this will help to push in the market touch interfaces.

Beating Apple Punch? (1)

Roliel (1119283) | more than 6 years ago | (#23572913)

Or at least beating Apple to the punch? When the iPhone first came out, I had the follwing advert in my mind, for Apple's next big thing: an iPhone appears on the screen, with the normal "twang" iPhone song in the background. and then a hand (you know the one) comes on screen, and pinches (or antipinches?) the image of the iPhone apart, enlarging it into a full fledged laptop (tablet?). I'm wondering, was Microsoft also imagining that Apple would take this route? Are they leaking their images to "beat" Apple, in case Apple announces this new laptop product at their developer's conference (which is less then two weeks away)? The timing seems conspicuous.
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