Microsoft's Jerry Koh and Jeff Piira gave some insight into the Windows 8 touch experience in yet another Building Windows 8 blog post yesterday. They talked specifically about the type of touch hardware that would be required for Windows 8-certified tablets - the touchscreens in Windows 8 and Windows on ARM tablets will need to recognize at least five simultaneous inputs, have good edge detection, and accurately register 95% of all touch input. 

To ensure a decent experience on Windows 7 tablet hardware, the gestures needed for basic OS navigation require no more than two fingers, though tablets with limited multitouch capabilities may not be able to use apps or features that require more complex gestures. To compensate for tablet hardware with poor edge detection, Windows 8 can use a 20 pixel buffer around the screen to help register edge gestures, but the space used for the buffer cannot be used to register other touch input. Various sensitivity issues may also cause problems with individual taps, swipe to select, swipe and slide, and swipe from edge on Windows 7 tablets.

For more information, including specific Windows 7 tablets that Microsoft has used for internal testing, the full post is linked below.

Source: Building Windows 8 blog

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  • Makaveli - Thursday, March 29, 2012 - link

    Anytime I see anything posted about windows 8 now i'm expecting it to be Microsoft finally listens to their customer base and will be fixing window s8 and disabling metro for a proper desktop experience to not hurt productivity.

    Then when I see the real story I just close the browser!
  • GoodBytes - Thursday, March 29, 2012 - link

    Microsoft will NEVER disable Metro... that means no App Store on desktop and laptop's. Which mean much less developer interests, which mean few apps in there.
    Expect the Start Screen to stay there for many version of Windows to come.

    All I can say is that Windows 8 StartMenu/Metro was comply unusable in the alpha. So bad I had to remove Windows 8 on my test system (laptop). But now, I actually rather enjoy it. Due to the MASSIVE improvements done to it. There is still a lot of work, but at this rate, I think they can come to something much improved on the Release Candidate stage. Plus, the additional feature, (including 1 FULL extra hour of battery life, passing from 10h to 11h on my lappy), is very welcomed, and offset the high learning curve of the Start Screen, You get used to it.

    I believe one possible fix that would make most people happy, is if they introduce an option, where clocking on the Start button on the task bar, shows a compact Start Screen, here me out:
    -> When you click on the start button (so bring that back), a column, like the network connection one, slides out, but on the left side. Where you see 1 column of tiles (2 small tiles, or 1 large one can fit at each row), These are the same live tiles on the start screen. A list view, can be arranged as well.

    -> Bottom of this bar, you have the search bar, much like Windows 7 and Vista.

    -> you can have metro app tiles there, so you can run them. Click on them will open the Metro app full screen, to follow the now official and set Metro app specification to developers.

    -> And you have an (->) arrow button on the top right corner of this columns which will, when pressed, expand to the full screen start screen.

    I think that is an excellent compromise to support both worlds. It doesn't take the full screen when open on the desktop, you have the start button, you have the lives tiles, you can open metro applications, you still have access to the full start screen, and it takes the full height of the screen, so you can put a lot of applications/tiles on there.

    I think it's pretty cool. But I don't think Microsoft will implement that, especially that it's way too late in the development cycle.. maybe Windows 9.
  • Zink - Thursday, March 29, 2012 - link

    That sounds like a good idea. The only real problem with the metro start screen versus the old start menu is that once you go meto for a search etc. there is no quick way to get back to the desktop windows. A metro start menu/sidebar would fix that by letting you click back on your desktop space just as easily as Win7 now. It could just be a setting like what is under Taskbar and Start Menu Properties in Win7.
  • Malih - Thursday, March 29, 2012 - link

    Well this is Windows, if Microsoft don't enable desktop keyboard shortcut by default, someone will make a software to tweak that. That's the good thing about Windows, there are lots of good freeware (and a good amount of them are open source) developed for it.
  • ad24 - Thursday, March 29, 2012 - link

    Sure. It is really hard to understand so much fuss about metro because in no time there will be gazillion utilities to customize everything.

    I personally can't wait to get an Intel based Win 8 tablet that weights 2 pounds and can open a 500mb Excel file
  • TEAMSWITCHER - Friday, March 30, 2012 - link

    Third party add-ons are almost never as good as Microsoft provided functionality. That's my biggest frustration - I didn't want a new start screen experience for the Windows desktop. I'd much rather have something like OS X's Mission Control (Multiple Desktop / Expose) feature.

    I have tried all Third party Windows 7 multiple desktop implementations and they all suck! Microsoft is too busy catching up to Apple on basic things, that they have zero overhead and/or desire to match powerful features already present on competing platforms.

    Until Microsoft stops giving us what they want, and start providing us the things that we truly desire, the well-deserved on-line beatings will continue.
  • IBM650 - Friday, April 6, 2012 - link

    Third party add-ons are almost never as good as Microsoft provided functionality.
    Ever try Directory Opus, Windows explorer is the worst.
  • CarlitosLx - Friday, March 30, 2012 - link

    "The only real problem with the metro start screen versus the old start menu is that once you go meto for a search etc. there is no quick way to get back to the desktop windows"

    There are at least two ways to do it:

    Simply press the start key on your keyboard (it's a toggle key: press once to show the start screen, press again to go back to wherever you came from);

    WIN+D. The old "show desktop" keyboard shortcut still does exactly what it says on the tin.
  • Da W - Thursday, March 29, 2012 - link

    If they just tried to keep the taskbar in metro it would do wonder how you would not see the transition between desktop and metro.
  • damianrobertjones - Friday, March 30, 2012 - link

    Do you actually speak for everyone? how long have you used Windows 8 and are you scared of change? As admin here I've come to terms with the changes and welcome them for the day to day user. The Desktop (here) has always been a dumping ground for shortcuts and files so it's time to move that to servers.

    As for the home user? I'm pretty sure that if this were from Apple everyone would be 'wow'!

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