“The New Efficiency” Resources

The New Efficiency Thanks to all that showed up for the Windows 7 launch event today in Boston to see Chris, Bob, and me present on the new features of Windows 7.  Presenting in a movie theater comes with its own set of challenges, but hopefully you were able to get a good overview of what opportunities and user-experiences Windows 7 enables.  And now that you all have your own copies of Windows 7(!), I’m sure you’re itching to get started, so here are some resources to get you on your way:

There are two downloads you definitely want to get your hands on:

Windows 7 SDK – The SDK gives unmanaged developers the headers and libraries they need to build applications for Windows 7, but it also provides a number of samples for managed and unmanaged programmers alike.

Windows 7 Training Kit – The training kit installs a number of materials on your machine including presentations, hands-on labs, and videos to lead you through all of the major features of Windows 7, including taskbars and libraries, the sensor and location API, multi-touch, and more.

Since I covered specifically the Windows Ribbon and the multi-touch features, I wanted to include pointers to the demos and resources I mentioned during my talk.

The simple ribbon example I showed in Visual Studio is the EX02_Starter hands-on lab that is installed as part of the Windows 7 Training Kit.

The Ribbon Explorer utility that I demonstrated, which provides the live preview of the ribbon, is available on the Codeplex site.  It includes all the source code as well, so you can get a better understanding of the inner-workings and extend the functionality if you desire.

Currently, the Windows 7 ribbon functionality is only exposed via a COM interface, so those of you writing managed code in Visual Basic and C# have a bit of work to do in terms of COM interop.  If you are building WPF applications, there’s a version of the ribbon available on Codeplex that you can use directly.  If you want to integrate the ribbon into your own Windows Forms code, check back periodically at the Preview Ribbon project on Codeplex.  As of this writing it hasn’t been published yet, but it should provide a managed interface to the capabilities I demonstrated this morning.

As for the multi-touch part of the presentation, I want to again thank John Bowen of Interknowlogy for walking through the very-cool Library of Congress “History at your Fingertips” application and offering his perspectives on developing for multi-touch devices.

The example of the ‘better’ scenario using Windows multi-touch – the one with the rectangular block responding to the various touch gestures – is a slight adaptation of the MTGestures C# application that you’ll find in the samples that come with the SDK.  This sample uses Windows Forms and demonstrates the use of the WM_GESTURE message.  Most of the other examples in the SDK and the training kit are WPF applications that leverage the stylus events.  With the advent of WPF 4.0, you’ll see WPF applications also leveraging native touch and gesture events as well.

The ‘best’ scenarios included

  • Interknowlogy’s “History at Your Fingertips” application, which does leverage WPF 4.0 beta 1.
  • The Windows 7 Touch Pack, which will be available when Windows 7 ships on October 22.  This is a set of five applications ported from Microsoft Surface, including the Visual Earth 3D and the breakout game, that I showed at the end.
  • Lastly, the Silverlight example at http://playcrazycoins.com demonstrates how you can deliver a multi-touch experience as part of a Rich Internet Application (RIA) as well.

Thanks again for sharing in the excitement of the launch; now go have fun exploring Windows 7!