Before he retired, Bill Gates said that "natural" interfaces would be the next big thing in computing. True to the master's prediction, Microsoft is integrating more gesture and writing controls into their OS than ever before, including—for the first time—genuine multitouch.
TOUCH AND MULTITOUCH
In order to make use of the touch interface in Windows 7, you need a compatible PC with a touch monitor and the right drivers. We used an HP TouchSmart PC, which Microsoft has also been using in demonstrations.
In the video below, you can see the basic gestures associated with Win 7 touch:
Tap: A single click with an accompanying droplet-ripple effect
Tap and hold: The equivalent of right-clicking, indicated by a swirling circle around your finger
Flick: Inertial menu or window scrolling set in motion by a quick flick of your finger (there's also a related inertial "toss" behavior for flinging photos and other objects around the screen, where they bounce to a halt)
Type: A pop-up keyboard lets you type for real
You'll also see the multitouch gestures:
Zoom: Spreading or tweezing two fingers to make a picture zoom in or out
Rotate: Swirling those two fingers around to make the photo move
Draw: In Paint, you can even draw with two fingers
As applications harness the multitouch capabilities of the OS, more behaviors (like air hockey) will become apparent.