Windows 7 Touch Pack Goes Public

Consumers can now download the suite of interactive games and utilities directly from Microsoft.
Microsoft has for the first time made Windows 7 Touch pack available directly to consumers. The bundle includes numerous tools and applications designed to leverage Windows 7's support for touch-screen interfaces.

Windows 7 screen shot
(Click for larger image and for full photo gallery)

Previously, Windows 7 Touch Pack was available only through the purchase of a new PC with touch-screen support.

"Due to feedback and requests from both partners and customers, we are releasing the Microsoft Touch Pack For Windows 7 for anyone with touch capable devices to download," said Brandon LeBlanc, Microsoft's in-house Windows blogger, in a post Wednesday.

"If you have a Windows 7 PC or a multitouch monitor that supports Windows Touch in Windows 7, the Touch Pack for Windows 7 is a good way for you to be able to truly test the multitouch investments we've made in Windows 7," wrote LeBlanc.

Windows 7 Touch Pack includes six touch-optimized applications and games, including an interactive globe, a photo organizer, a lagoon-themed screensaver, a physics puzzle, an origami creator, and a Pong-style video game called Microsoft Rebound.

Numerous vendors offer Windows 7-based touchscreen computers, including Hewlett-Packard, Asus, Dell, and Fujitsu.

Microsoft released Windows 7 last October, with an eye to erasing memories of its unpopular predecessor—Windows Vista. Many users balked at Vista's horsepower requirements, intrusive security measures, and incompatibility with older applications.

Microsoft has posted strong OS sales since the release of Windows 7. Windows sales jumped 70% year-over-year, to $6.9 billion, in the company's fiscal second quarter, ended Dec. 31. Microsoft is expected to report third quarter earnings at the close of regular trading hours Thursday.

Editor's Choice
John Edwards, Technology Journalist & Author
Carrie Pallardy, Contributing Reporter
Alan Brill, Senior Managing Director, Cyber Risk, Kroll
John Bennett, Global Head of Government Affairs, Cyber Risk, Kroll
Sponsored by Lookout, Sundaram Lakshmanan, Chief Technology Officer
Brandon Taylor, Digital Editorial Program Manager
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor
Richard Pallardy, Freelance Writer
Sponsored by Lookout, Sundaram Lakshmanan, Chief Technology Officer
Sara Peters, Editor-in-Chief, InformationWeek / Network Computing