Yesterday, Microsoft dropped the new Windows Live Essentials beta, adding tons of new publishing and web service options to their suite of consumer desktop applications. Here’s a look what’s changed in the beta and how the new apps stack up.
Searching the NET today, I came across an old article of the Windows 7 Team on the topic of TOUCH for Windows 7. It is a rather interesting article in that it details the touch feature in Windows 7. It even mentioned by an argument against my request for a touch-package a la “Origami Experience” here below for Windows 7 citing that users will be forced to Enter and Exit the touch package to manage and use the system. It says they chose intentionally to integrate all the Touch feature directly into the Windows 7 Shell.
It answered a curiosity I noticed on my TC1100s that the Aero-peak(Right-most of the taskbar) button are lager than on my desktop.
It happens that TC1100 is touch aware, i.e. semi-touch, hear this on the button:
“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”
Therefore, if we may believe the article, you should essentially be able to use Windows 7 without a Touch Shell like the OEMs are building on top of the OS for Windows tablets at the moment. The question then is why are the OEMs doing this. I think is the failure of MS to convince everyone that they don’t need an extra Touch shell. From what I gather from the article, Windows 7 detects the system environment and configures itself for Touch if detects that the system is touch-capable.
This implication of this is that most people miss this feature. Why? Because most of us have non-Touch enabled environments. 98% of users at this moment work with Keyboard an Mouse therefore you will never see the Touch feature of Windows 7 TILL you buy a touch-enabled system, then the Touch feature will appear in all its glory with all emphasis on the word “Till”.
None of us can verify at the moment that Windows 7 will work from the box-out with Touch, so there is no traffic of information on it. No one is hyping the Touch feature of Windows 7 at all. Another problem is that Developers need to write their code to take advantage of the touch features, zero Windows application that I know today is touch-enabled. It is a Chicken and Egg situation, developers will not develop for a system till it becomes popular, but it will not become popular till there are enough applications that demonstrate the features.
MS itself fails in this respect, because non of its own application displays Touch awareness. I realize I may be wrong here, because it may be that MS applications like Office will come to life with Touch features when they are installed on a touch-enabled device. We will never know till we could lay our hands on these Windows “PADs” coming at the end of this year. Then things may change, because then Touch will become visible to everyone and the advantages will become obvious.
If all that is written in the article is true, then Windows 7 may turn out to be still another Killer for Microsoft as far Tablets are concerned. I think the OEMs are just trying to ape Apple in their attempt to present us with an iPhone-esque interface. If Windows 7 work out-of-box with Touch, who needs the OEM java Shells.