Getting a feel for Windows 7

Its multitouch feature is clearly its most tactile improvement, but just how widespread that feature will be implemented remains to be seen.

News.com Poll

Is touch too much?
One of the big features in Windows 7 is multitouch, which is bound to cost extra.
I don't want it even if it costs no more than a regular PC.
I'd pay a little extra, but no more than $50 .
I'd pay $75 or $100 more.
Heck, a Surface PC costs more than 10 grand, so I'll pay a few hundred bucks more for touch on a PC.



View results

As many people have noted, Windows 7 is a lot like Windows Vista. But by adding multitouch abilities, Microsoft is hoping to create an operating system that, quite literally, feels different from Vista.

And, when you do get to put your hands on Windows 7 , it certainly is a much different experience than Windows Vista. For those who missed it, here's a video of the touch features in action, taken at the PDC.

But PCs that use that multitouch technology are bound to cost more than their traditional counterparts. And I'm just not sure how many people will actually fork over extra cash for that experience. Personally, I like touch. I'd probably pay more for a laptop or desktop that had touch-screen controls.

But I might be in the minority here. Apple users seem to crave innovations, even those that come at a price. Windows users, meanwhile, tend to have a different cost-benefit calculus, one that makes it hard for pricey extras to reach the necessary volume where they are no longer pricey.

With Vista, for example, Microsoft was touting the notion of a secondary display, a feature known as SideShow, that could offer a quick look at upcoming calendar appointments without having to open up a laptop. I know of only a couple instances of SideShow actually being used. The biggest factor I heard was the cost.

The question is, will touch be any different?

I talked about this and some of the other challenges and opportunities for Windows 7 as part of a Daily Debrief video . What do you think? Take our poll or sound off below in TalkBack. And click here for our photo gallery of Windows 7's multitouch features.

About the author

    During her years at CNET News, Ina Fried has changed beats several times, changed genders once, and covered both of the Pirates of Silicon Valley. These days, most of her attention is focused on Microsoft. E-mail Ina.

     

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