For years Microsoft has been investing in many forms of natural input in order to simplify the way people interact with their PC’s and devices. The advent of the original Windows graphical user interface forever changed the way people used their PC’s. Today, advances in pen and handwriting technology in Windows Vista offers students a natural and intuitive way to capture searchable notes and diagrams in the classroom. Others are using this technology to quietly capture pen based notes during meetings. Speech recognition, something which was once considered science fiction, is enabling many Windows Vista users to see, hear, and use their computers for the very first time.
Last year, at the Wall Street Journal’s D: All Things Digital conference, Bill Gates introduced a groundbreaking new computing experience called Surface. Surface harnesses touch and multi-touch capabilities to provide users with a natural way to interact directly with computing devices. Expect to see the table-like Surface devices in hotels, retail establishments, restaurants and public entertainment venues.
Touch is quickly becoming a common way of directly interacting with software and devices. Touch-enabled surfaces are popping up everywhere including laptop touch pads, cell phones, remote controls, GPS devices, and more. What becomes even more compelling is when this experience is delivered to the PC -on a wide variety of Windows notebooks, in all-in-one PC’s, as well as in external monitors. In working with our broad ecosystem of hardware and software manufactures, we’re excited to be showing some of the great work and investments we are working on in Windows 7.
Tonight, at this year’s D:All Things Digital conference, Julie Larson-Green showed Walt Mossberg how a few of the multi-touch innovations first previewed in Surface will ultimately enhance the next version of Windows. A transcript of the demo can be found here: http://d6.allthingsd.com/20080527/gates_ballmer/.
Below is an abridged version of the demo that Julie delivered this evening. Please note, the applications you will see are for demonstration purposes only…but it’s all Windows 7 underneath.