Microsoft Announces Touch Pack for Windows 7

The Windows 7 team at Microsoft has been working closely with the Microsoft Surface team to bring multi-touch to Windows 7. Earlier this week, the Windows 7 Team blog unveiled the Microsoft Touch Pack for Windows 7. This Touch Pack includes three multi-touch optimized casual games and three Microsoft Surface applications for Windows 7.

The Touch Pack is designed to showcase the capabilities of Windows Touch. Here’s a closer look at each of the applications:

Microsoft Surface Globe uses the Virtual Earth 3D engine to display a 3D version of the world. Using multi-touch gestures, you can navigate to different regions of the world, get local information, and pin favorite locations. In some cities, you can even fly around models of buildings.

Microsoft Surface Globe

Microsoft Surface Collage uses multi-touch gestures to arrange and resize your digital photos, save a collage, and turn it into your desktop background.

Microsoft Surface Collage

Microsoft Surface Lagoon lets you interact with a screensaver that recreates the natural environment of water and schooling fish using multi-touch.

Microsoft Surface Lagoon

Microsoft Blackboard presents a physics puzzle that can be solved using multi-touch to create a machine on a virtual blackboard. Using gestures, you can rotate and resize gears, fans, seesaws, and more. You can also move balloons and balls towards the light bulbs to obtain victory.

Microsoft Blackboard

Microsoft Rebound is somewhat similar to air hockey. Here, you must use multi-touch to propel a ball in an electrified court and annihilate your opponent. You can play against the computer or challenge a friend to see who the champion is.

Microsoft Rebound

Microsoft Garden Pond uses multi-touch to create ripples in the water that will guide your origami creations to peaceful areas on the pond. You can also direct your creations using gestures to complete goals that have been set for you.

Microsoft Garden Pond

In order to use the Microsoft Touch Pack for Windows 7, you’ll need a Windows 7 PC that supports multi-touch. Microsoft says the Microsoft Touch Pack for Windows 7 will be available to OEMs. It will be up to OEMs to pre-install any of the applications in the pack. After general availability of Windows 7, Microsoft will consider making the pack "even more broadly available," which might mean the company will consider posting it on the Microsoft Download Center.