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Windows 7 unveiled, has iPhone-, Mac OS-like features

updated 01:35 am EDT, Wed May 28, 2008

Windows 7 unveiled

Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates and CEO Steve Ballmer on Tuesday unveiled a small preview of the company's next operating system - tentatively referred to as Windows 7 - at the All Things Digital executive conference. The preview demonstrated the integration of multi-touch directly into all application layers, allowing users to use multiple fingers in Paint, resize and rotate photographs, and performing many actions similar to that of the iPhone.

The demonstration also showed Microsoft Virtual Earth, which can be navigated by touch in both "road" and "aerial" views. Users can search for a location, such as Starbucks, and touch the push-pin representing the desired location, and information about the café will appear.

In the photo management application, users are able to toss around and organize photos as though they were on a surface. Photos can be rotated, drawn on, zoomed, organized into a 3D slideshow, viewed in a grid mode, or scattered across the virtual surface.

Interactive, on-screen musical instruments, as well as several other possibilities were also shown. Gates hinted briefly that this would just be the beginning, that Microsoft would explore speech, gesture, vision, ink, and other near-future technologies.

In terms of interface elements, Windows 7 will allegedly bear even stronger resemblances to Mac OS X, with the presence of a Dock. Microsoft did not extrapolate on how the "dock" functions, but will most likely be revealed in the near future.

Windows 7 is supposedly about 18 months away from seeing store shelves.

[via Gizmodo]

Video: Multi-Touch in Windows 7

by MacNN Staff



  1. Guest

    Joined: Dec 1969



    With all these glossy screens currently so popular for flat panels and in particular laptops, I was wondering whether this is really such a good idea. It will make reading the screen even more complicated. Also I wonder how it will take until there is a sufficient support by software. It is certainly worthwhile to try something new. Hopefully this doesn't mean I then must upgrade to a 64 bit system with at least 8 GB more, quad-core, high-end graphics just to run the OS (think Vista!)
    Cheers, Manfred.

  1. rytc

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Now they're taking the dock!?! Suggestion MS, license OS X as the default OS, called it Window to Mac OS X, and supply Parallels with Windows XP for your legacy customers. This would allow you to copy all the features of OS X in one go.

  1. bigpoppa206

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Never license the OS!

  1. chadpengar

    Joined: Dec 1969


    18 months?

    I think they meant 48 months

  1. loudpedal

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I'm sure some would note that it's a preview but the whole operation looks very Windows-like. Blowing up a photo completely obscures the photos underneath, the jerky response of the map software (trading smoothness for speed). 18 months? Yah, right.

  1. Peter Bonte

    Joined: Dec 1969



    The interface seems made off Flash or more likely Silverlight, its a demo. No way they put this into Windows' core in a 18 months.

  1. MiMiC

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Once Before Apple

    I think this demo was to be the first out before Apple. We all know Apple is working towards this as they used touch in a controlled environment, and then will move to more open ground. Again, first with their apps, then 3 party.

    This seems to be M$ saying we were first at something.

    NO they should not license the OS. Remember DOS?

    Anyway, i can't wait until Mac gets touch AND voice. Yes, but i mean real voice that actually understands me like adults do and not like adolescents do LOL

    I think it would be cool working with Aperture with touch, but even cooler, doing basic functions including searches (online and on my Mac) with Voice. Have voice tied into AppleScript so we can program our own voice actions would be really cool.

    ok, enough dreaming.

  1. jimothy

    Joined: Dec 1969


    not gonna happen

    Microsoft won't pull this off because, unlike Apple, they don't control both the hardware and the software. They'll get a few hardware vendors to offer this on a few models, and a few independent software vendors will add showy multi-touch features to their applications, but it's never going to be more than a gimmick. c.f., tablet computing.

    Frankly, I don't think it'll take off with Apple, either, because while it looks spiffy in a demo, it's more gimmick than practical. But, Apple is better positioned to make this happen than Microsoft, and they may surprise me. Look how well it's worked for iPhone.

  1. Guest

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Just wait...

    I'm sure there's more to come, especially as Apple announces any new functionality. MS doesn't even seem to know (or it's fan base doesn't realize) how pathetic it is.

    They are great at offering a managed corporate platform and doing the end-to-end thing with windows clients to MS servers. As a standalone client though, they just don't get it despite all their hopeful claims. Still, there are plenty of those who just don't know any better who have their technology opinion managed by MS's marketing department.

    I'll stay with the innovator. Apple has to make great products to succeed. MS doesn't do that, and doesn't have to.

    Comment buried. Show
  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: just wait

    Of course, Apple can make great products because they're not overly burdened by users who demand that their software/hardware work with their new 'innovations'.

    Oh, and Apple doesn't have to make great products. They've shown that people will flock to OK products that look good.

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