Windows 7: What will Microsoft reveal this week? Touch

I'm hearing buzz that Microsoft is going to show off the multitouch technology that the company is building into Windows 7 at this week's D6 conference in Southern California.

Is this week the week that Microsoft finally will shed a bit more light on what's coming in Windows 7?

Istartedsomething.com blogger Long Zheng recently reported that Microsoft is planning to show off Windows 7 at the D6 conference in Southern California this week. But given the obsessive levels of secrecy Microsoft continues to maintain around the next version of Windows client, due in 2010, it's highly unlikely that execs will go public with a full list of features slated for Windows 7.

So if you were Chairman Bill Gates and CEO Steve Ballmer (who are slated to appear at D6 on stage together as part of Gates' farewell tour), what would you highlight?

I'm hearing buzz that if Microsoft can manage to gag and tie temporarily its Chief Secrecy Officer Steven Sinofsky, the company might show off at D6 the touch technology that Microsoft is building into Windows 7.

As I and others have reported previously, it's not just Windows Mobile 7 that is adding touch support; it is Windows 7, as well. There have been more recent leaks corroborating Microsoft's plans to add touch support to Windows 7. (Check out the "Feedback Button" screen shot on the right.)

As I'm still not much of a Tablet PC fan, I must admit Microsoft's desire to add touch to Windows is a bit baffling. Even one former Softie working to help evangelize the Tablet form factor noted that PC makers were none too keen on creating Windows machines optimized for touch.

I've asked Microsoft what, if anything, the company is planning to show off on the Windows 7 front at D6. Not surprisingly, no word back. (Not even a comment like "Didn't you read the Sinofsky memo on translucency vs. transparency that you posted?")

What's your take? Would you want a Windows Touch PC? What kinds of touch-centric apps would you be interested in test-driving on such a machine?

Why is so little known about the next version of Microsoft Windows? ZDNet Editor in Chief Larry Dignan talked with Ed Bott and me about the road map for Windows 7. View the video roundtable: