I personally doubted that Windows 7 would make an actual appearance during the Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer joint interview up on stage at the D6 conference, but as it turns out, it has made an appearance. During an interview conducted by Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher about Ballmer and Gates’ past, present, and future, a short demo was given of Windows 7.The guys at D6 have put together a point-by-point transcript of the interview, and most likely, video will follow later. According to the transcript, Ballmer said we would get to see “just a snippet” of Windows 7. That snippet was presented by Microsoft’s Julie Larson-Green, who demonstrated Windows 7’s multitouch features. The transcript notes:
And there it is… Well, damn if it doesn’t look pretty slick. Clearly the Windows dev team’s been busy with more than just Vista service packs. Quick side note, Windows 7, like other Microsoft OS’s before it, seems to have borrowed a thing or two from Mac OS X. This time it’s Apple’s Dock [ed. note: it doesn’t have a dock.], which Microsoft appears to have borrowed. Multi-touch and a Dock. In Windows. Steve Jobs must be so proud.
To give you an idea as to how the multitouch features work in Windows 7, here’s a video of them – note that the new interface, with the dock, doesn’t appear yet to be part of this particular video – or it must be those three floating icons right before the piano application loads. Note that the demo is done on a Dell Latitude model which ships today.
According to Larson-Green, multitouch will be implemented system-wide, and according to Gates, it will herald in a new era of computing based on a hierarchy of input systems. “Today the machine is really set up for one person to sit at a keyboard,” the transcript reads, “Soon it will be set up for voice and gesture.” Windows 7 is about 18 months away.
Note that we’ll keep you updated on this one, and will let you know as soon as the videos of the actual interview, including the new Windows 7 interface, are posted online at the D6 website.