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Microsoft's experiment in multi-touch computing is open source

Microsoft is experimenting with multi-touch technology, but the real experiment may be with open source.

InfoWorld was the first to report that Microsoft has released a new Touchless SDK to help developers kick the tires on multi-touch technology.

But it was TechCrunch that pointed to perhaps a more significant aspect of the release: it's open source.

Released under the Microsoft Public License, the Touchless project is a good example of Microsoft doing its own experimentation around open source. The Touchless SDK isn't a revenue-bearing product, though it could be a way to create products that drive Microsoft revenue, especially given that the SDK only works on Windows today, which could lead to Touchless-created products running on Windows, as well.

Regardless, it's good to see Microsoft doing more of its investigations of new markets using open source. Microsoft was never going to open source cash cows like Windows and Office. But perhaps as it seeks to create new markets or disrupt old markets in which it has yet to hold a dominant share, open source will factor more fundamentally into its plans.