You've seen the demos of multitouch, and you might even have a PC that supports Windows 7's multitouch, but what can you do with it? If you're in the market for a PC that supports multi-touch, Microsoft is making a multitouch PC even more appealing by announcing its Microsoft Touch Pack for Windows 7.
Microsoft Touch Pack is a product of the collaboration between the Windows and Surface development teams, and as a result, Microsoft Touch Pack includes three Microsoft Surface applications and three casual games. Here's what you get:
Microsoft Surface Globe enables you to navigate the Virtual Earth 3D version of the world by touch, and lets you get local information as you "fly" by particular places.
Microsoft Surface Collage brings one of the original Microsoft Surface "touch and move the photos" demos to life, adding the ability to convert a collage into a desktop background.
Microsoft Surface Lagoon is a multi-touch enabled screensaver - watch fish gather around your "submerged" finger.
Casual gamers can enjoy the Rube Goldbergesque Microsoft Blackboard, a mashup of death rays and air hockey in Microsoft Rebound, and float origami on the water in Microsoft Garden Pond.
Who gets first crack at the Microsoft Touch Pack? From the Windows Team blog annoucement:
The Microsoft Touch Pack for Windows 7 will be available to PC makers (OEMs) who will have the option to pre-install some, none, or all of the applications available in the Microsoft Touch Pack for Windows 7 on PCs designed for Windows Touch (PCs that meet the logo requirements for Windows Touch) – so you should start to see these applications showing up on some touch PCs around the time Windows 7 is made broadly available. After general availability of Windows 7, we will look at making the Microsoft Touch Pack for Windows 7 even more broadly available based on feedback from customers and partners.
Hopefully, the Microsoft Touch Pack will become available via download at some point for those of us with existing multitouch-compatible PCs. In the meantime, if you're getting ready to buy a PC with a touchscreen after Windows 7 rolls out this fall, you now have two questions to ask:
Does it support multi-touch?
Does it include Microsoft Touch Pack for Windows 7?
Hit Comment and tell us what you think about Touch Pack.