Tablet, Touch, and Windows 7 RC

With Microsoft’s release of Windows 7 RC to the MSDN and TechNet community, lots of folks have been busy downloading, burning, and installing. Immediately after coming home from the hospital yesterday, I skipped a much needed nap and much more necessary shower to get Windows 7 RC installed on my recently repaired Dell Latitude XT Tablet PC.  I had to send my XT in (twice!)  to get repaired due to the digitizer firmware getting all messed up as a result of some messed up driver installs and beta testing Windows 7. Tip: Don’t go back and forth between official and beta digitizer drivers. Stick with one or the other, otherwise you risk seriously messing up the firmware on your digitizer. Needless to say, that experience did nothing to improve my overall impression of the Dell Latitude XT and N-Trig digitizers.

So what is the touch experience like under Windows 7 RC? I wouldn’t know because N-Trig has yet to release Windows 7 RC multi-touch digitizer drivers yet. Their current build for Windows 7 Beta 1 offered a great touch experience (while I had it working), although it did not support pen.

Once N-Trig releases their new multi-touch digitizer drivers for Windows 7 RC, I’ll take a look at their release notes and make a decision about whether to go down that road or wait for another build. Until then, I’ll be using the official N-Trig Multi-Touch digitizer drivers from Dell’s support site. On a related note: Hp, Dell, and N-Trig, I’m counting on you to make your multi-touch digitizer drivers for the tx2, XT, and XT2 Windows 7 logo compliant. Early adopter owners like me  are expecting the FULL multi-touch experience that Windows 7 is offering – nothing less will be accepted. I want pan scrolling, zooming, rotating, and a cherry on top of that sundae, ok?

Regarding my Windows 7 RC install the Dell XT: I did a clean install, which, like Warner, I always recommend. The only thing I had to download was Dell’s Quickset, which enabled rotation. Other updates like video drivers and tablet buttons automatically came down via Windows Update. I have not noticed any new stuff, except the new awesome desktop themes – I love the new art. Boot time is really fast, inking is as smooth as ever, and overall program launching is pretty darn snappy. Windows 7  simply rocks and feels like a system I will want to implement for all of my business clients. My business clients are still running Windows XP Professional.

Personally speaking, I have moved over all of my files from my MacBook Pro to the Latitude XT, and will be using Windows 7 RC full time until the official version comes out. It will be nice to go back to a thin and light mobile computer. Microsoft is really hitting their stride and looks to reclaim a lot of credability.