Multi-touch in Windows 7 – a Useless Feature

At the All Things Digital conference today, Microsoft demonstrated some Windows 7 features. Supposedly the main feature of Windows 7 will be multi-touch capabilities, as already seen in the Microsoft Surface demos. While multi-touch might be useful for a table interface, I fail to see how it will ever be useful in a Windows operating system.

First, here is the video of the short demonstration:

Video: Multi-Touch in Windows 7

Now, first of all, only tablet laptops and touch-screen LCD’s will be able to make use of multi-touch. However, almost no one has a tablet, and only stores have touch screen LCD’s for customer interaction. There will be a very small amount of consumers who will be able to even use multi-touch.

Second, what’s the point? How often do people really want to drag a couple photos around the screen and rotate them? Are you really going to use a multi-touch piano? You might for ten minutes just to play with the technology, but that’s it. Most people aren’t going to use it to draw in paint. And again, how often do you use Google Maps?

Multi-touch might be useful for graphic artists, but most already have external touch pads for the job. For consumers, I just don’t see the application of multi-touch in everyday computing. For companies who use touch screen displays in the workplace, they already have the technology for it.

I see no purpose for multi-touch. It’s cool to use it for some demonstrations, but that’s it. Most people won’t even have the hardware for it, yet alone the use for it. And with Gizmodo saying multi-touch is the biggest feature of Windows 7, I’m starting to doubt whether this version of Windows will live up to the hype.

6 thoughts on “Multi-touch in Windows 7 – a Useless Feature

  1. I think you’d agree that where this technology makes sense it’s not a bad thing: like very small displays such as an iPhone, horizontal displays (like slate Tablet PCs on a table or Microsoft Surface) where there are multiple people using and touching the display at the same time, and very large whiteboard displays and the like where more than one person might be using them at a time. I think you’ll also find that once you have touch or stylus support on your computer and applications and you start using them, then you’ll want to be able to use touch more often. Yeah, many people can live without these features. Look at Twitter, for instance, it’s text only and is doing quite well. I personally, want more.

    Whether it’s a good idea for a company to release products with new ways of doing things such as with handwriting recognition, speech recognition, multi-touch in Windows 7 or Surface or TouchWall, I guess different people will disagree.

  2. This technology fails because looking at a screen with finger smudges is no good. Pus it’s useless. Udder fail.

  3. This won’t even be useful for serious graphic artists. Way to fail Microsoft. This is from someone who actually owns both a tablet PC and a WACOM tablet. The worst part of that demo was the dissonance between finger movement and feedback. If you’re going to unveil your next bread and butter product you can at least use decent hardware to showcase it on.

    The only real application I can think of are games, and no AAA game publisher is going to spend millions of dollars creating a game for such a tiny demographic.

    And it’s utter not udder.


  4. Because of people like you technology never advances, your negativism and your way of imposing your personal taste by doing comments without thinking about the rest of the people simply helps brain wash people and force them to be negative as yourself.

  5. @ Alex:

    I am simply pointing out that there will be very limited uses for multi-touch and a very small percentage of windows users will be able to take advantage of it. The technology itself is good. However, I don’t see this as really advancing, because a good mouse or touchpad is much better than touching the screen. Your fingers will never be as precise. So while this is good new tech, I don’t see it as an advancement in interface, at least with home computers.

Leave a Comment