Tuesday 23 October 2012

Gesture support added for Windows 8 touch-mouse

One of the biggest features of Microsoft's upcoming operating system - Windows 8 - is the touch-based interface. A key peripheral that Microsoft has launched is the touch-based mouse. According to PCMag, Microsoft has added new gestures for touch-based mice to operate. Some of these gestures include multi-touch ones, like gestures to flick, slide and zoom.

The functionality is included in the recent release of Microsoft's Mouse and Keyboard Center 2.0 app. The gesture support, while a welcome addition, still lacks many functions of a touch-screen, including pinch-to-zoom. The other major problem with the app is that it only supports Microsoft's Touch Mouse.

Recently, it was revealed that Microsoft has been training its employees about the differences between Windows 8 and Windows RT. One of the biggest differences between Windows RT and Windows 8 is that RT runs on ARM-based processors and isn’t compatible with older Windows software, whereas Windows 8 is powered by Intel chips giving it better performance along with the ability to run any Windows application.

According to a statement to CNET by Microsoft, “We are working to ensure our store teams provide a great experience to our customers purchasing Surface or a new Windows 8 PC.” The company continued, “We will be training our team members to ask qualifying questions to help determine their customers' needs and the best products to fill those needs and recommend the right device and by GA, store associates on average will have completed more than 15 hours of training on Windows and Surface.”

Microsoft had recently released a TV Spot for its Surface tablet. Among the things shown in the video, there are developers talking about the metal they used for making the tablet. Microsoft had to pick the right metal so as to keep the tablet light, but also make it sturdy and durable. Another major topic of the video is the keyboard. According to Microsoft, the engineers had first said that the ultra-thin keyboard is just not possible, but the company managed to make a keyboard that turned out to be 1mm thinner than the original plans.

Earlier this month, it was revealed that Microsoft is going to launch the Surface tablet on October 26. Microsoft had sent out invitations to a special 'Surface Reception' event held for launching the company's latest version of Windows, simply titled Windows 8.

Though the major talking point of the event is the debut of the Surface tablet, rumours of a new device have been doing the rounds. This comes in the form of a Surface smartphone with the Surface branding. Earlier this year, reports indicated that Microsoft may be building its own handset that will run on the forthcoming Windows Phone 8 platform. Microsoft did not confirm or deny the speculation, but a spokesperson stated that Microsoft, together with its hardware partners, was focussed on bringing Windows Phone 8 to the market this year. Adding fuel to these rumours, a report by BGR had indicated that Microsoft may launch its own Windows Phone 8 handset that could be launched within the next few months.

While 2013 may still be a long way off to witness a Surface smartphone, October 26 isn’t and this is when we can see the Surface tablet finally being launched after months of waiting.

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