Microsoft Unveils Windows 7 Touch Pack

Windows 7Microsoft has introduced a bundle of software applications that leverage Windows 7′s built-in support for touch-screen interfaces.

The Windows 7 Touch Pack includes Microsoft Surface Globe, a 3-D map of the Earth that users can navigate through with their fingertips; Surface Collage, a digital photo organizer and editing program; and Microsoft Surface Lagoon, an aquatic-themed screensaver in which fish and other creatures react to touch.

Other apps in the pack include the mechanical design game Blackboard and the pinball-like game Microsoft Rebound. Another app, Garden Pond, lets users create and control organic creations in a garden setting.

Microsoft introduced the package Wednesday at the D: All Things Digital conference in Dallas.

“The Windows and Surface development teams have been have been collaborating closely on bringing multi-touch to Windows,” wrote Brandon LeBlanc, Microsoft’s in-house Windows blogger, in a post Wednesday. “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 great example of immersive experiences software developers can create for Windows 7 and multi-touch,” LeBlanc added.

Windows 7 Expected to Kill Vista

Windows 7 RcThe arrival of Windows 7 should put the final nail in the coffin for Windows Vista, one of the most disappointing products in software maker Microsoft’s recent history.

That’s the opinion of researchers at IT consulting group Gartner, who are advising corporate customers who haven’t already made the leap from Windows XP to Vista to forgo the latter entirely.

“Microsoft expects to ship Windows 7 in time for the 2009 holiday shopping season. Organizations with a Windows Vista project well underway should stay the course, but most others should target Windows 7,” wrote Gartner researchers Michael Silver and Stephanie Kleynhans, in a report released this week.

The researchers said Windows 7 holds a number of useful features for business users. BranchCache allows workers in remote offices to tap information from headquarters more quickly and easily by caching that content on local networks. Another feature, AppLocker, gives IT managers control of which applications users can run. Read the rest of this entry »

Microsoft Windows 7 available in time for Christmas Holidays

Windows 7Microsoft will make Windows 7 available to businesses and consumers in time for the busy
holiday shopping season in the fourth quarter of the year, according to company officials.

Windows Server 2008 R2, the server companion to the windows 7 operating system, also will be available at the same time. Microsoft unveiled the information to journalists just ahead of its keynote at its annual conference.

Microsoft also said it plans to release a technical preview of the next version of its other key software product, Office 2010, in July to all attendees of the conference.

Nice time ahead for new releases.