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.