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Windows Operating Systems Software Input Devices Microsoft Technology

Windows 7 Touchscreen Details Emerging 152

nandemoari writes "Microsoft has revealed more about Windows 7 and its support for touch screen technology. The system sounds impressive, however, reports suggest it appears to have a high error rate. In an early version of the system, Microsoft found some problems. For example, both the zoom and rotate functions worked less than 75% of the time, often because the computer confused the two. To rectify this, engineers redesigned the system so that it only looks out for gestures specifically relevant to the program being used. This made a significant improvement: the zoom gesture was now recognized 90% of the time. The problem is that even a 90% success rate may be too low. If you can imagine how frustrating it would be if one in ten keystrokes or mouse movements didn't do what you intended, you can see why touch screen technology will need to be even more reliable if it's to truly improve the user experience. PC Authority has a related story about statements from HP, who don't expect such technology to replace keyboards and mice any time soon."
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Windows 7 Touchscreen Details Emerging

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  • by JaredOfEuropa ( 526365 ) on Saturday March 28, 2009 @05:37AM (#27368805) Journal
    The iPhone gets it wrong as well from time to time. Most notably in the email app, where you can scroll the list of emails up and down, or wipe across a mail to bring up a delete button. If I try to scroll, it always does. But if I try to wipe an email, half the time it thinks I want to scroll. Oh, and don't get me started on the times the iPhone thinks it's being rotated sideways and goes into landscape mode, when I am merely placing it flat on the desk.

    But seriously, I've yet to come across a device with a touch screen that is as responsive and accurate as the iPhone's. Once you get used to that, other devices feel clumsy and sluggish. Especially that MS big ass table; I've played around with it for a bit, but it is hardly ready for any serious use.
  • Re:Geeze (Score:4, Informative)

    by bloodninja ( 1291306 ) on Saturday March 28, 2009 @06:07AM (#27368903)

    You'd think that with that 'big ass table [youtube.com]' they've been so proudly parading around they'd have this figured out.

    I mean, letting everyone think it was a touch screen, when in reality it uses several cameras down below the glass to track motion - you'd hope they'd get it right when it came to something that actually utilized touch...why are we not surprised to learn they've stuffed this up.

    The Microsoft Surface [what-is-what.com] was never billed as a touchscreen. It was meant as a language-less user interface. In that regard it works rather well: even primate peoples who have been shown the device could operate it, moving files, opening photos, and such. It is not a general purpose computer in any sense.

  • Re:Not convinced (Score:5, Informative)

    by Vectronic ( 1221470 ) on Saturday March 28, 2009 @06:09AM (#27368907)

    It doesn't have to replace the keyboard and mouse, in most cases it just has to add to it, the mouse didn't replace the keyboard.

    There are some things that would be quicker with touch, some with mouse, some with keyboard, for instance touch, would probably be better at the (Reply To This) than having to grab the mouse, align it, click, the keyboard is better for this and the mouse is better for selecting/editing text.

    Plus, because of the difference with accuracies, things like Virtual 3D spaces, you could use touch as a main anchor to hold/move an object, the mouse to operate on the object, simultaneously.

    Or in 2D spaces, like Photoshop, you could use the mouse for painting/drawing, but touch to control rate of flow, or pressure, in a far more natural/instinctual way.

    Also, touch would be better for public access stuff, because keyboard and mouse are the same, no edges, breakable/grabbable/tied down inputs (ie: pens on chains) etc, and potentially they can be self-cleaning too...

  • Re:Geeze (Score:5, Informative)

    by gilgongo ( 57446 ) on Saturday March 28, 2009 @08:04AM (#27369283) Homepage Journal

    "even primate peoples who have been shown the device could operate it"

    MODERATORS: How can a statement be "informative" if there is no indication of any kind that what is being said can be verified?

    Ignoring the bizarre idea of "primate peoples" (WTF??), we need to have a special tag on /. for when this happens:


    I don't know what's more annoying: making a bald statement without any reference to a source, or you getting modded up to "5 informative" for doing so.

"If the code and the comments disagree, then both are probably wrong." -- Norm Schryer