Microsoft moving toward ‘touch' technology with Windows 7

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LEHI -- It's sort of a fact of life in the world of computers: as soon as you get one, a faster, more powerful version is already in the stores. That's exactly where Microsoft is headed with its new Windows 7 operating system.

You've seen the TV ads for Windows 7. They feature regular, everyday computer users claiming the system was their idea.

"And that's absolutely true," says Dan See, with Microsoft in Lehi. "Those are the actual people who had input on it. We put them on camera because it was their idea."

See gave KSL News a look at the features folks in the commercials wanted:

  • Managing power and memory better; computers re-boot in seconds.
  • Users also wanted multiple computers in their homes to be able to talk to the other, which is what one commercial illustrates.

Windows 7 Product Features
Play your media on other PCs, stereos, or TVs around the house.
Enjoy music and video on your home PC—even when you're not at home.
Pair Windows 7 with a touchscreen and you won't always need a keyboard or mouse.
Redecorate your desktop with fun new themes, slide shows, or handy gadgets.
Designed to sleep and resume quicker, be less memory hungry, and spot USB devices faster.
Windows Live Essentials - 7 great programs, 1 free download. Mail, Movie Maker, Photo Gallery, and more.
Windows Search - Find virtually anything on your PC, instantly.
Windows Taskbar - Better thumbnail previews, easier-to-see icons, and more ways to customize.

For example, say your vacation photos are stored on another computer that your kids are using and you want access to them on your laptop. Windows 7 can access those photos. "That was a huge feedback point, making home networking easier," See says.

Also, there's no more resizing boxes when you want to look at something side-by-side. Just click and drag and the documents, and you're ready to go.

Windows 7 will also make "touch" computing more mainstream. We use touch screens at ATMs and airport ticket kiosks already, now it comes home.

"The lesson they learned in the business setting was that touch is faster; it's easier for the human to understand, but we just haven't used it in a personal computing device," See says.

So, no more clicking on small "back button" arrows to see a previous screen.; just flick your finger one way or the other.

Reading a multi-page document? Just slide your finger and turn the page. Looking for an address? Just use your fingers to zoom in on the location or manipulate the map as you wish. And there's more to come.

"As touch becomes more prevalent in the marketplace, people will redesign their websites to be touch-friendly," See says.

Of course, we're talking about technology that we've seen on small devices like cell phones for some time. Those screens are often heat sensitive. This Windows technology works by pressure on the screen. Your computer needs to be "touch-enabled" for this to work, but the Windows 7 software will work the old fashioned way if you want to use it on your existing system.



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Keith McCord


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