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Touch Enhancements in Windows 7 Release Candidate



windows7With the Windows 7 Release Candidate about to roll out Chaltanya Sareen on the Engineering Windows 7 Blog is detailing some of the changes that have been made since the public beta. Notable amongthe 36 features highlighted are some enhancements for touch and multi-touch. Check them out after the jump.

From the Engineering Windows 7 Blog

Aero Peek for touch

We’re excited about Peek and we further refined its functionality. Our touch customers enjoy the benefits of direct manipulation, but inform us they feel left out of some of new functionality that’s available for the mouse and keyboard. We’ve made two improvements that spreads the love. First, the taskbar’s thumbnails now support a touch gesture so one can drag her finger across the UI and trigger Aero Peek. Also, the Show Desktop button is improved so a press-and-hold will allow the customer to peek at the desktop. A regular tap in both these scenarios still to commits the switch.

Multi-touch touch keyboard

A funny thing happens when one uses touch to interact with a software keyboard for the first time. The natural instinct is to press multiple buttons simultaneously like they do with a real keyboard. It’s quite reasonable to try to use SHIFT + <letter> to capitalize, for example. RC ushers in multi-touch support for the Touch Keyboard so that customers enjoy a more realistic experience.

Multi-touch right-click

People who are rely on touch give us mixed feelings towards tap and hold to bring up a context menu. This approach works, but it also involves a slight delay. We now have a fast new multi-touch gesture for right-click. Simply touch an item with one finger and use another finger to tap and summon a context menu.

Drag/Drop and selection

In Beta there was no discoverable way to select text in a website that scrolled both horizontally and vertically. Customers are now able to drag/drop and select items with touch, even inside scrolling pages. The new behavior is optimized for the two most common actions by touch customers—scrolling up and down and dragging left to right.



  1. Steve

    02/26/2009 at 8:27 am

    All well and good but have they fixed touch screen calibration so that you can access the last 1/4 inch along the edges of the screen?

  2. Sumocat

    02/26/2009 at 9:11 am

    Sounds like multi-touch in Windows 7 is getting more and more useful, and I’m not just saying that because the new features remind me of functionality I already envisioned. :)

  3. Elmstrom

    02/26/2009 at 10:05 am

    Multi-touch for on-screen keybaord is very nice, i am ready for a capacity touch slate device now.

    The on-screen keybaord in the beta is allready very good on the Dell XT, multi-touch is the missing part for perfection.

  4. Perry Reed

    02/26/2009 at 10:11 am

    Awesome! Any word on whether the N-Trig drivers will also be updated to support the stylus?

    My new HP txd2 tablet is on the FedEx truck to arrive any minute now today and I’m anxious to put Win7 on it as soon as the drivers are updated.

  5. GoodThings2Life

    02/26/2009 at 2:37 pm

    Very exciting news indeed, and I can’t wait to get my hands on it, since I’ve been really enjoying the Windows 7 tablet features on my HP tx2525nr tablet! :)

  6. Estrelo

    02/27/2009 at 5:39 am

    This will be great for my digitiser-less M912, well mostly the Aero Peek tweak. I don’t know how well the dragging will work with an unlocked toolbar though (I keep it unlocked so I can reposition it when I rotate the screen)

  7. Medic

    02/28/2009 at 6:30 am

    Great news that attention has also been focused on the issue of windows 7 and touch. Unfortunately multi-touch is not as widely available and developed now, compared to “single”-touch. The multitouch itself still has to be perfected, let alone touch in general. Steve has a good point on his 1/4 screen edge touch recognition issue.
    Other issues I was also thinking about:
    -more work on more language support of the TIP
    -more ink symbol recognition
    -more improvements on the math input panel (among others recognition, multiple formula’s and/or equations in the same input field)

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