Tag Archives | multitouch

HP: Touch, Touch, and More Touch

HP LogoA month ago, HP unveiled a bunch of new Windows 7 PCs, but ones with touchscreens were conspicuous by their absence–and given that HP has been selling TouchSmart models for close to three years now, it would have been startling if it didn’t continue to do so once the touch-enabled Windows 7 debuted.

Tonight, the company announced a second round of Windows 7 machines, including multiple multi-touch TouchSmarts. The new all-in-one touch PCs include the 20″ TouchSmart 300, starting at $899, and the 23″ TouchSmart 600, starting at $1049; the company is also introducing a refreshed version of the TouchSmart tx2, a $799 laptop with a flip-around 12.1″ screen. Those systems are all aimed at consumers, but HP is also going after businesses with the TouchSmart 9100, an all-in-one that starts at $1299 and is meant for applications such as kiosks in public places. It’s even launching the HP LD4200tm, a $2799 touch-screen LCD TV meant for use as digital signage.

TouchSmart PC

I reviewed a nicely loaded $1600 configuration of the TouchSmart 600 for PC World— it runs Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit and has a Core 2 Duo CPU, Blu-Ray, a TV tuner with remote control, a 750GB hard drive, and a lot of other features–basically, it would be a very nice all-in-one PC whether or not it had a touch interface.

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Microsoft Invests Millions in Multitouch Company

N-Trig MultitouchIn an effort to make Windows 7’s multitouch user-interface one of the OS’s top selling points, Microsoft has invested millions in Israeli startup N-trig to provide PCs with touchscreen technology.

Today, N-trig announced that it had completed a US$24 million fund raising round from investors, including Aurum Ventures, Challenger Ltd., Canaan Partners, Evergreen Venture Partners, and Microsoft. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Microsoft was the largest investor.

This investment should help ensure that the screens work well with Windows 7 and any other multitouch devices Microsoft might release (touchscreen Zunes, anyone?)  in addition to making the technology more widely available to hardware manufacturers. It makes a lot of sense for Microsoft to be certain that multitouch devices are on the market when it ships Windows 7, because customers will doubtless be looking for the feature.

A friend, who is a not-so-tech savvy lawyer, sent me a text message today expressing his excitement after he read an article about “Windows 7 having a touchscreen.” Customers will be dissatisfied if there are no multitouch PCs ready to buy when Windows 7 ships.

Microsoft needs happy customers in order to maintain its market share and strengthen the Windows brand. Its investment in N-trig is a down payment.


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