Next Version of Windows to Incorporate Advanced Touch Features

A Microsoft blogger revealed yesterday that the next version of Windows ("Windows 7") will contain touch features with specific claims that the new features will 'blow away' the current touch features on the iPhone:

I will say that if you are impressed by the "touch features" in the iPhone, you'll be blown away by what's coming in Windows 7.

The blogger, Hilton Locke, is a Windows test engineer for the Tablet PC which explains his involvement with touch technologies. Microsoft has already integrated some touch features into Vista with support for current Tablet PCs as well as HP's TouchSmart PC, but it appears more advanced features will come with Windows 7. This successor to Windows Vista, however, is not expected to be released until 2010 at the earliest.

Even then, touch features would only be available to manufacturers who take advantage of the new features. Locke suggests that convincing manufacturers to adopt Windows Touch Technology has been difficult.

In May, Microsoft announced their Surface Computing initiative with the introduction of commercial multi-touch tables due in 2008.

Multitouch technologies have been a hot topic since the introduction of the Apple iPhone, with several patent applications indicating that Apple is heavily researching its use. The current incarnation of the iPhone supports two points of contact, allowing the user to zoom in and out using "pinch" and "reverse pinch" motions with two fingers. More advanced multi-touch possibilities include gestures and multi-purpose surfaces.