Microsoft is all set to offer a peek into the technology powering the next version of Windows, Windows 7, in October 2008, by sharing engineering information about Windows 7 with attendees at two technical conferences it runs.
Windows 7 developers are scheduled to showcase their work at both conferences, the Professional Developers Conference and the Windows Hardware Engineering Conference. Windows 7 is based on Vista, and is expected to release sometime around January 2010.
News the sharing of details came from a new Windows 7 blog written by engineers putting the together the software.
Information about 7 have been scares thus far, and the blog post by senior engineers Jon DeVaan and Steven Sinofsky attributed the secrecy to Microsoft wanting to keep under wraps talk about features that may never make it into the final product, and about causing confusion amongst partners.
Windows 7 will build on core components from Vista, and will have a touch interface that, when used with the appropriate screen would recognise gestures to complete tasks, such as pinching the screen that would close documents or manipulate images.
Apple and other opponents of Windows 7, however, say that the OS will be little more than a Windows Vista patch, which uses multi-touch support as its sales pitch.
Till now, Microsoft has been pushing Windows Vista as its flagship product, though the company has admitted it as being a ''work in progress'' after many reported issues did not allow the operating system to be as popular with users as its predecessor, Windows XP.
Microsoft is facing heightened competition from operating systems on its home turf, with Apple's OS X goes beyond Windows with its features and innovations.
Multi-touch applications are garnering greater acceptance in recent times, specially in products like the Apple iPhone, which also supports multi-finger gestures. However, for Windows 7, multi-touch is not likely to be the default input method, and will back up as a feature to enhance user interaction in applications the user chooses to use it.
Prospective uses for the touch interface can be a virtual piano by touching virtual keys, or dragging, rotating or zooming-in on photos. These features have already been demonstrated at the Wall Street Journal's 'All Things Digital' conference in May 2008.