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Windows 8 Touch Interface Demonstrated On Windows 7 Hardware: BUILD Conference

In September 13 blog post, Steven Sinofsky talked about experiencing Windows 8 touch on Windows 7 hardware. The post is authored by Grant George, corporate vice president for all of Windows test, and Jeff Piira, a test manager on our HIP team, — focuses on the touch interface aspects of PCs designed for Windows 7, which also work with Windows 8.

Sinfosky writes “Windows 8 is in a developer preview state now, but there is not yet a broad set of PC hardware upon which to experience some of the new, hardware-specific, aspects of Windows 8. Keeping the user experience at the top of the requirements, Windows 8 will kick off a new generation of computing devices, and it is only natural that touchscreen technologies will evolve with it.”

Of course Windows 8 is designed from the ground up to be an amazing upgrade (or clean install) for any PC that runs Windows 7. But we know many folks are anxious to try out some of the new scenarios and form factors that will also make Windows 8 shine.

“In Windows 8, we are taking the next step in adopting touch as a truly first-class input mechanism by evolving not only our UI, but many other platform elements as well,” writes Sinofsky.

Touch experience in Windows 8 includes (full hardware list is embedded below):

  • “Panning and touch response are precise and smooth (we call this “stick to your finger” panning).
  • Touch visualization is direct and immediate.
  • Targeting UI with your fingers is seamless and confident.
  • Typing on the screen is quick, efficient and responsive.
  • Touch application experiences are consistent. Touching these applications will work the same regardless of the device they are run on,” noted Sinofsky.

He said that “We also test Windows 8 on a broader set of in-market systems. Touch quality is not only about the touchscreen and its relationship to the user. When we’re testing complete systems, things like bezel design, graphics, CPU and cover glass can impact the Windows 8 touch experience as well. We’re committed to supporting the hardware that is running with Windows 7 today and working hard to bring a good experience to our customers who upgrade.”

He noted that the company has used following Touch hardware to test Windows 8:

  • HP Elitebook 2740p and 2760p convertible
  • ASUS EP121 tablet
  • Dell Inspiron Duo convertible
  • Lenovo x201, x220t convertible
  • 3M M2256PW 22″ display

Sinfosky gave example of some Windows 8 touch tests: “the first test covers new Windows 8 features that you access by swiping a finger in from the edges of the screen, like Search, Share, and Settings. To get the best experience when swiping in from the edge, touch must be responsive across the entire active screen starting at pixel 1 on each side, so we’ve developed tools to ensure that swipes are always properly detected at the edges of the screen.”

“To ensure a smooth panning experience, we have requirements for the latency of hardware response and panning with touch. We use a high-speed camera to measure input lag or delay between when a user touches the screen and when that action is reflected on the display. The less lag or separation between the user’s finger and the object being dragged the better!,” explains Sinofsky.

Sinofsky alos notes, that “We are confirming that we will be bringing Xbox LIVE to the PC with Xbox LIVE on Windows. We are very excited about Xbox LIVE coming to Windows 8. Xbox LIVE brings your games, music, movies, and TV shows to your favorite Microsoft and Windows devices.”

“Bringing Xbox LIVE to Windows 8 is part of our vision to bring you all the entertainment you want, shared with the people you care about, made easy. At BUILD we are showing that it is easy for developers to create games for Windows 8 that take advantage of the power of Xbox LIVE. We have much more detail to share about the capabilities of Xbox LIVE on Windows and look forward to the opportunity to do so in the near future,” said Sinofsky.

Below is a list of the devices we currently have in our test labs.

3M M2256PW

Dell ST2220Tc

HP TouchSmart_IQ526t

Acer Aspire 1420p (PDC)

Dell Studio 1747

Lenovo C320

Acer Aspire 1825PT

Dell Studio One

Lenovo S10-3T

Acer Aspire 5738PG

Dell SX2210T

Lenovo ThinkPad T410S

Acer Aspire Z5610

Elo 1522L

Lenovo ThinkPad X201T

Acer Iconia


Lenovo ThinkPad X220T

Acer T230H

Fujitsu Lifebook T4310

Lenovo ThinkPad_X60

Acer W500

HP Compaq L2105TM

NEC MultiSync LCD175M


HP EliteBook 2740P

Planar PX2230MW


HP Mini 5102

Samsung Series 7 XE700T1A

Dell Inspiron 2305

HP Pavilion_tx2000

Sony V J series

Dell Inspiron Duo

HP Pavillion DV3T-2000

Sony V L series

Dell Inspiron One 2305

HP Tablet 500

Sony VPCL113FX/B

Dell Latitude E6420

HP TouchSmart 610

Sony VPCL-218FW

Dell Latitude XT

HP TouchSmart IQ500

Toshiba Portege_M700

Dell ST2220T

HP TouchSmart TX2Z

Toshiba Sattellite Har/Kar

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