Windows 7 to get new touch features

Windows 7 to get new touch features

Summary: It's still early in the Windows 7 development process, but it sounds like new touch features already have made it onto the user-interface feature list. My question: Do Windows users want Microsoft to make the Windows experience more and more Mac-like?


It's still early in the Windows 7 development process, but it sounds like new touch features already have made it onto the user-interface feature list.

Hilton Locke, who is with Microsoft's Windows Shell team, in blogging about the newly introduced Dell Latitude XT Tablet PC, mentioned Windows 7's planned touch support in a post this week:

"All 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. Now if only we could convince more OEMs that Windows Touch Technology is going to drive their sales."

Not being a Tablet PC fanatic, this touch UI revelation doesn't do much for me. But it did get me thinking about a point made by a Mac-user friend of mine recently.

His theory: Neither Windows Vista nor Apple's Leopard interfaces have met with universal user approval for the simple reason that Microsoft and Apple are trying too hard to emulate each other's UI. Micorsoft tried too hard to appeal to users interested in a Mac-like experience, and Apple was too intent on making Leopard appealing to Windows switchers, my Mac-using chum posited. The result? Neither vendor made its core constituency happy.

What do you think? Is Microsoft erroneously trying too hard to make Windows more Mac-like? Or do the Redmondians have no choice on that front?

Topics: Software, Apple, Hardware, Operating Systems, Windows


Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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  • Mimicing UI

    Microsoft is losing market share to the mac. One large reason many young people are switching is because the user interface of the OSX and Apple applications is much more aesthetically pleasing and cleaner. I know this from talking to many of my friends that purchased macs. If Microsoft wants to take back market share they have to make their interface better.
    • Can not agree

      I have talked to a few who dislike the Mac user interface, they bought their systems based on advertising, never having seen the interface, so how can you switch becuase of something you have never used?

      My neice (and others) were told in college by a professor (when asked) to "buy a MacBook as they do not get viruses or crash".
      She does not like the OSX GUI, but she is stuck with it.
      • She's not stuck with it

        Intel Macs can run Windows as well as a Dell, probably better. Why is she "stuck" with OSX?
        • that's right

          For one thing, people who have used both operating systems [i]do[/i] generally agree that the Mac GUI is nicer than the Windows GUI. But that's right, you can boot into Windows if you want and run it at excellent speeds.
        • perhaps

          [i]Intel Macs can run Windows as well as a Dell, probably better. Why is she "stuck" with OSX?[/i]

          Perhaps she can't afford the full Windows license on top of what she already spent for the Mac?
          • actually...

            She can always boot into Linux and use Wine, or even try out ReactOS in VirtualBox, all free options. But Macs aren't really expensive for the specs and quality. Now you tell me why Microsoft charges hundreds of dollars to install Windows, or why Microsoft Office costs hundreds of dollars. Going with Microsoft over Apple is usually more expensive overall, and at least using a Mac gives a choice.
          • Would like some WINE with your cheese?

            Everybody knows Wine in *nix is a piece of crap.
          • that's too geeky

            She is just a college student probably in a non-CS or non-Engineering major (if not she would have not bought a mac based on a professor recommendation). What you say is overkill for most users.

            why Microsoft Office costs hundreds of dollars.

            Because it's a great product. Period.
            I have used and it sucks (although v2.0 is a huge improvement over the completely crappy v1.1) and offerings from Apple are just too basic. In fact, if it were not for MS office I would probably not be using the Mac laptop (with Tiger) I got assigned. I would be using a Linux based laptop for what I have to do.
          • Why MS Office is expensive

            It's not because it's a great product, it's because for so long it has nearly monopolized the market, so people think it is a necessity. For Windows, I would probably prefer MS Office to But for Mac, there is iWork. It has an excellent spreadsheet program, presentation program, and a top-notch presentation program. Don't tell me it's not as good as MS Office, because I've used both, and I can look at the reviews on as well. iWork '08 has 4.5 stars. MS Office 2007 has only 3 stars. Anything else MS Office provides is just part of iWork, which comes with all Macs. And guess what? iWork is 1/5 the price of MS Office (talk about price!).
          • So use Linux

            which runs just fine on Macs. What is the problem?
          • education licenses

            Office is actually cheap for education licenses.
          • windows vista home premium only cost $129 i don't see where

            windows vista home premium only cost $129 i don't see where your getting that it cost an arm and a leg.
            SO.CAL Guy
          • the cost...

            MS Office Standard costs 5 times more than iWork.
            Windows Vista Home Premium costs 240 dollars. Source:
            If you're getting it for 129 dollars, it is just for an upgrade. And by the way, Vista Ultimate, which has all (not just some) of the features Microsoft is proud of, costs $400! Give me a break...
          • vista home premium only cost $129

            tell that to the Modesto family whose house just got foreclosed.

            Jack-Booted EULA
          • Whoops! (apology)

            Modesto is actually central cali. Sorry about that.

            Jack-Booted EULA
          • vista prices

            OEM license
          • Duh


          • Office 07' Ultimate goes as low as $60.

            Is that too expensive as well? Cheaper than iLife for sure, and a TON more features than OpenOffice.

          • Reeeeel cool!

            Must be getting pretty hard to sell, eh?

            You can thank OpenOffice for forcing them to
            lower the price (by providing competition).
            That is if you don't want to seem cheeky.
            Ole Man
  • who cares about Win7? Vista will be my OS for years!

    who cares about Win7 ? Vista will be my OS for years!