At Wall Street Journal's D: All Things Digital conference about a year ago today, Julie Larson-Green first introduced Walt Mossberg to Windows 7 and its multi-touch capabilities, which we call Windows Touch. While we’ve been working on bringing natural user interface to you in many Microsoft products, we first introduced multi-touch in Microsoft Surface. Since then, the Windows and Surface development teams have been collaborating closely on bringing multi-touch to Windows, and last year demoed a few applications they created to run on Windows 7. Today, we thought it would be fitting on this “anniversary” of first talking about Windows Touch to introduce the Microsoft Touch Pack for Windows 7.
While touch is built into the “DNA” of Windows 7, something that was talked about in the Touching Windows 7 blog post on the E7 Blog, we thought it would be fun to give you some applications that show what’s possible with this new way to interact with your PC. The Microsoft Touch Pack for Windows 7 is a set of six multi-touch optimized applications and games that are designed to truly showcase the capabilities of Windows Touch in Windows 7. It consists of 3 casual games, and 3 Microsoft Surface applications that have been created for Windows 7.
Let’s take a closer look at what’s in the Microsoft Touch Pack for Windows 7…
Microsoft Surface Globe pretty much puts the whole world in your hands (well, kind of!). It uses the Virtual Earth 3D engine to display a 3D version of the world. Using multi-touch, you can navigate to different regions, get local information, and “pin” your favorite locations. You can even “fly” around 3D models of buildings in some cities. The Microsoft Surface Globe was one of the apps Julie Larson-Green demoed at last year’s D: All Things Digital conference. To see the Microsoft Surface Globe app in action – take a look at this video.
Take your favorite digital photos and arrange and resize them using only your fingertips with Microsoft Surface Collage! Once you have your photos in an arrangement you like, it’s simple to save your collage and make it your desktop background. I’ve made a whole series of backgrounds and cycle through them with the desktop slideshow.
Microsoft Surface Lagoon is a screensaver that you can interact with using multi-touch. It recreates the natural environment of water and schooling fish. It is really relaxing to run your fingers through the “water” and hold your finger down and watch the fish gather around.
Solve a puzzle game of physics, called Microsoft Blackboard, by creating a nifty machine on a virtual blackboard. Use gestures to rotate and resize gears, fans, seesaws and more to move balloons and balls toward the light bulbs - and victory.
Use your fingers to propel a ball and annihilate your opponent in Microsoft Rebound. Play against the computer or challenge a friend and battle it out in the electrified court to see who the champion is.
Finally, with Microsoft Garden Pond, you can guide your origami creations to peaceful areas on the pond or direct them with gestures to complete goals that have been set for you. Gently move the origami by making ripples in the water.
In order to use the Microsoft Touch Pack for Windows 7 – you’ll need a Windows 7 PC that supports multi-touch. The Microsoft Touch Pack for Windows 7 will be available to PC makers (OEMs) who will have the option to pre-install some, none, or all of the applications available in the Microsoft Touch Pack for Windows 7 on PCs designed for Windows Touch (PCs that meet the logo requirements for Windows Touch) – so you should start to see these applications showing up on some touch PCs around the time Windows 7 is made broadly available. After general availability of Windows 7, we will look at making the Microsoft Touch Pack for Windows 7 even more broadly available based on feedback from customers and partners.
The Microsoft Touch Pack for Windows 7 is a great example of immersive experiences software developers can create for Windows 7 and multi-touch. We thought now would be a good time to share what some of the team has been working on – and give you folks a glimpse into what’s possible – and we look forward to continuing this conversation as the touch community grows.
PLEASE NOTE: The Microsoft Touch Pack for Windows 7 will be available to PC makers (OEMs) that have a direct contractual relationship with Microsoft.
Does anyone know the name of the background music for the Blackboard game, or who performed it? I'd love to hear more of it...!
Anyone have any idea when this will be released to the public? I bought a new Touch Screen laptop from Dell and formatted the drive, now I can reinstall the Touch Pack. Really wish it gets released soon.
I love the multi-touch technology in Windows 7. Those applications are so cool. Sadly, I wasn't be able to use Windows 7 in multi-touch because my computer is not touch PC. If I would have it, I would download Microsoft Touch Pack for Windows 7 to enhance my touch experience. Microsoft did a great job on developing this Touch Pack.
The touch apps/games are all well and good. How about the touch pack and things like 3D screen, flip the screen left or right to see other screens or are we looking at Aero for this?
Plus what about the base apps? Office, or more basic yet, Word Pad or Note Pad or Paint. I am seriously considering the ASUS T91GO and T101S right now. That would make these machines uberawesome. I know there are a couple others out there in this range as well.
Add to this other apps like Google maps in IE....
Or Google Earth
Or Or Or.
Is there a clearing house of what apps are currently supported for touch computing and what the plans are for the future?
Finger tip computing is not exactly pixel perfect so to speak.
plus having a pop up key board would make life much easier in tablet mode. Or quicker at least.
So...where do I go to download this Touch Pack???!
Is there any chance that the Lagoon screensaver will have an option to use the active desktop (or a recent prtsrc) as the background?
Nice, i have two 42" multitouch screens, in two pcs with win7, thats we'll using in TV CHANNEL in brazil, where we get this pack to using ? This pack make all thats we need!
One burning Q. will we be safe in Win7 from Conficker?
Does anyone know if Asus EeeTop et1602 is a multi-touch? Could I use all these applications on it? I know it has touch display, but is there a difference between these two?
I just visited a local computerstore that had et1602, but with WindowsXP. I know that Windows7 would run on it; I have a netbook with same specs and it runs Windows7 easily (kudos for that guys!). I would love to buy it for my 3 year old daughter and install Windows7 on it. She has a lot of these kid games that would really benefit for a touch screen (games where you select a shape by clicking/touching it and then selecting the corresponding bin in which the object is then placed).
I could also put all of her music on it and teach her how to use the mediacenter to play music and watch movies, pictures etc.
I also had these vision about creating a custom webpage, from which she could launch applications, watch her favourite YouTube clips (laughing baby for one ;-)) and even call her grandparents through Skype...
Wow, I really would have liked to have all that when I was 3 :-D
I'm currently using windows 7 here at work. I do not have a touch pc but I do have a USB tablet from wacom. My question is, can you use a tablet to take advantage of these multi touch features, if not is that something that will be explored, for people who can not afford a touch PC.
If I'm not mistaken the TouchPack APIs are included in the Windows 7 SDK ...
Casual games are so much fun! Why doesn't MS give away one casual game a week or even a month for the PC like Xbox Live Arcade?
Wow very nice technology, if this technology was within my price range I would be all over it. However like all the best things in life, the price will drop on touchscreen monitors as they become more mainstream. Its nice that Windows 7 has all this great technology built in... if I was a British MP I would definately be kitting out my second home and office with a Microsoft Surface and a couple of touch screen laptops!
Seriously though, Im always suprised that I dont see more of this great technology being used in more places, my only regular exposure to touch technology is the my local ATM and the self-checkouts at Fresh and Easy and Home Depot. The technology has more potential than that, the Microsoft Surface Lagoon sounds like something my kids would really like.
I hope it will be available for download as well because I'll be building my own super high-end system after Windows 7 RTMs.
I have an HP Touchsmart IQ500 which I've installed Windows 7 and the multitouch driver from NextWindow - this works superbly.
Will the Touch Pack be available on MSDN for developers?
This would be more useful if touch computers were available, or if anyone planned on making one available.
So far, I have heard of one HP laptop with an undersized display no one would want.
Unless someone figures out how to retrofit LCDs of various sizes out there, this is never going to catch on. Developers will not develop for it unless enough people have it. People are not going to pay a premium for substandard systems just because they have touch, espcially if there is no software for it.
Nasty loop kills a concept - I've seen it before, I suspect I will see it again here.
Which is ok, because no one I know likes a screen full of greasy fingerprints and streaks.
Ray.. ehm.. that is implemented since the beginning of Win7 (i just guess because i don't have touch monitor)
Sweet, 1st on this thread.
While having touch capabilities on Windows 7 is a GREAT idea, I would like Microsoft to change how you scroll up and down on a window. Instead of touching the scroll bar on the right of the windows, how about moving your finger up and down on the screen (like an iphone).