The software development kit (SDK) for the Microsoft Surface tabletop still is available only to a select group of developers. But when Microsoft releases it more broadly in the next month or two, the Surface SDK will offer new insights into what Microsoft is doing with multi-touch around Windows 7.
While both the Surface and Windows 7 (as well as Windows Mobile 7) are all going to be Microsoft multi-touch showcases, I never really connected the dots between the work being done by the Surface team and the Windows 7 team. But given the initial Surface prototype systems were built on top of Windows Vista, it makes sense the next generation Surfaces will run on Windows 7.
What really helped me put 2 and 2 together was the description of the Microsoft Surface session slated for the Professional Developers Conference (PDC) in late October. (The Surface session is listed on the PDC Web site as one of a handful of Windows 7 sessions slated for the PDC.) The description:
"This session introduces the newly available Surface SDK that forms the basis of the Windows 7 multi-touch programming model. In addition, learn about the unique attributes of Surface computing and then dive into the core controls like ScatterView and vision-system tagging. Learn how you can become a part of the expanding partner ecosystem for Surface computing and leverage your existing investments in Windows Presentation Foundation and Microsoft Visual Studio."
Speaking of multi-touch, the UX Evangelist site is running an in-depth look at how Microsoft multi-touch works. Lots of good information on Duo-Sense, the "single dual-mode digitizer" technology that is working under the Windows 7 covers.
As blogger Michael Gartenberg notes, Surface systems are replacing Tablet PCs -- at least at MSNBC -- as the go-to devices for reporters doing election coverage. Until Microsoft delivers its promised consumer-tailored Surface systems, though, I just don't see Surfaces taking the multi-touch-happy world by storm....