Non-touch: Still on the Windows Mobile 7 feature list?

Summary:It's been quite the week for rumors and tips on things Windows Mobile and Zune-related. Why not close out the week with one more? This one is about the "non-touch" gesture-recognition capabilities Microsoft originally was planning to include in Windows Mobile 7.

It's been quite the week for rumors and tips on things Windows Mobile and Zune-related. Why not close out the week with one more?

Microsoft history buffs may recall that in January 2008, word leaked out (via an alleged internal Microsoft presentation) about what Microsoft was planning, feature-wise for Windows Mobile 7 (WM7). This was back when WM7 was a 2009 release codenamed "Photon," and before Windows Mobile 6.5 was on Microsoft's mobile roadmap.

Word was that WM7 would include new levels of touch and gesture recognition capabilities that would make Windows Mobile phones credible competitors to the iPhone. At the time, Microsoft declined to comment on whether information from that presentation was real or not.

Well, it turns out the presentation was, indeed, real. I'm posting a few slides from it, passed along by a source of mine, which focus on some of the gesture-recognition capabilities the Softies planned to make part of Windows Mobile 7 Photon.

Check out the full Windows Mobile 7 "non-touch" image gallery here.

Why post this now, when the info in those slides is at least two years old? If you look at the slides, you'll see a few interesting things:

Windows Mobile 6.1 and 6.5 phones already provide some level of gesture recognition. At TechEd 2009 this week, in fact, one of the talks focused on ways developers can write gesture-friendly Win Mobile apps to take advantage of the sensors, accelerometers and the like that are part of newer Windows Mobile devices.

(In case you were wondering why I don't just ask Microsoft about all this, the company isn't willing to talk at all about WM7. I asked yesterday for a comment on WM7 and got this statement back from a spokesperson: "We have not announced Windows Mobile 7 or anything related.")

Multi-touch is expected to be a requirement, not an option, for WM7 devices. I wonder if some of these original non-touch gesture recognition capabilities will make it onto the final WM7 feature list too. Would that kind of functionality make Windows Mobile more compelling, in your mind?

Topics: Microsoft, Enterprise Software, Hardware, Mobile OS, Mobility, Networking, Windows


Mary Jo Foley has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications, including ZDNet, eWeek and Baseline. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008). She also is the cohost of the "Windows Weekly" podcast on the TWiT network. Got a tip? Se... Full Bio

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