Windows 7 update

In an update published just recently on the Engineering Windows 7 blog, Microsoft revealed that it has made a variety of approaches to support its goal of "making Windows touchable".

Here is what's cooking at the Windows 7 engineering lab since it was first unveiled in October last year.

Making Windows Touchable

Windows 7 enriches the Windows experience with touch, making touch a first-class way to interact with your PC alongside the mouse and keyboard. The engineering team are focused on bringing touch through the Windows experience and delivering optimized touch interface where appropriate.

Touch gestures: Windows 7 has a simple set of touch gestures that work in many existing applications. These include the basics of tap and drag, as well as scroll, right-click, back, forward, zoom, and rotate.

Improved high DPI support: Windows 7 has improved high dpi support. The broad benefit to touch is that UI elements are rendered closer to their intended size – usually larger – which makes small buttons, links, and other targets easier to access with touch.

Improved window management: The updated taskbar and windows arranging features go a long way towards making Windows easier to use with touch.
  • The taskbar buttons and thumbnails are ideally sized for pressing with touch, and specific behaviors are tuned for touch input.
  • Aero Peek has been tuned to work with touch.
  • Sizing and positioning windows is easy with Aero Snap – just drag a window to a screen edge.
Refinements to key experiences: The the top browsing and media activities were refined to provide an optimized touch experience. IE8 includes support for the core touch gestures (scrolling, back, forward, zoom) as well as an optimized address bar that opens by dragging down, and extra spacing in favorites and history lists when opened with touch for easy selection.

Touch keyboard: The on-screen keyboard has been optimized for touch with glow key feedback that’s visible when your finger is covering the letter and multitouch support for natural typing behavior and key combinations. It’s designed for quick usage, like entering a URL.

Gestures

The Windows Touch gestures are the basic actions you use to interact with Windows or an application using touch.
  • Tap and Double-tap – Touch and release to click.
  • Drag – Touch and slide your finger on screen.
  • Scroll – Drag up or down on the content (not the scrollbar!) of scrollable window to scroll.
  • Zoom – Pinch two fingers together or apart to zoom in or out on a document.
  • Two-Finger Tap – tapping with two fingers simultaneously zooms in about the center of the gesture or restores to the default zoom – great for zooming in on hyperlinks.
  • Rotate – Touch two spots on a digital photo and twist to rotate it just like a real photo.
  • Flicks – Flick left or right to navigate back and forward in a browser and other apps.
  • Press-and-hold – Hold your finger on screen for a moment and release after the animation to get a right-click.
  • Or, press-and-tap with a second finger – to get right-click, just like you would click the right button on a mouse or trackpad.
For a more detailed explanation, visit the Engineering Windows 7 blog.

Video:
<a href="http://video.msn.com/?mkt=en-US&playlist=videoByUuids:uuids:891c68b3-a534-4159-b6b2-8e4ac56b6890&showPlaylist=true" target="_blank" rel="nofollow" title="Windows 7 Touch Gestures">Video: Windows 7 Touch Gestures</a>