• Contents
  • Introduction
  • Touch investments in Windows 7, Windows Live, and Internet Explorer 9
  • Internet Explorer 9 Overview
  • Note to OEMs
  • Pinned Sites
  • New Tab Page
  • Windows 7 Engineering Guidance for Slate pcs Microsoft Corporation

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    Windows 7 Engineering Guidance for Slate PCs

    Microsoft Corporation

    Windows 7 Engineering Guidance for Slate PCs

    Fundamentals and recommendations for touch experiences on Windows 7

    Disclaimer: This document is provided “as-is”. Information and views expressed in this document, including URL and other Internet website references, may change without notice. You bear the risk of using it. This document does not provide you with any legal rights to any intellectual property in any Microsoft product. You may copy and use this document for your internal, reference purposes..

    © 2011 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

    Aero, Device Stage, Direct3D, DirectX, Internet Explorer, Microsoft, ReadyBoost, Surface, Windows, Windows Live, Windows Media, and Windows Vista are trademarks of the Microsoft group of companies.

    The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

    January 21, 2014


    This paper describes the touch investments in Windows® 7 and provides guidance for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) that want to take full advantage of Windows on slate PCs.

    This information applies to the Windows 7 operating system.

    References and resources discussed here are listed at the end of this paper.

    The current version of this paper is maintained on the web at:

    Document History



    January 21, 2014

    Branding changes.

    March 15, 2011

    Added revisions for Internet Explorer 9

    August 23, 2010

    Minor revisions to correct hyperlinks

    June 1, 2010

    First publication


    Introduction 3

    Touch investments in Windows 7, Windows Live, and Internet Explorer 9 4

    Internet Explorer 9 Overview 6

    Site-Centric Design 6

    Pinned Sites 7

    New Tab Page 7

    Trusted and Efficient Browsing with Internet Explorer 9 8

    Add-on Performance Advisor 8

    Hardware Accelerated Browsing 13

    Optimizing the User Experience 13

    Fundamentals 16

    Hardware Requirements 16

    Design Principles 16

    Hardware Recommendations 16

    Human Factors and Ergonomics 16

    Digitizer Logo Requirements 17

    Digitizer Implementation Guidance 17

    Hardware Design Recommendations 18

    System Architecture Recommendations 19

    Touch Application Design Recommendations 20

    Touch Optimization Principles 20

    Increase Confidence and Efficiency 20

    Direct Manipulation 21

    Gestures 21

    Windows 7 Design Principles 21

    Time matters: Build for People on the Go 24

    Value the Full Lifecycle of the Experience 25

    System Performance Guidance 25

    Additional Logo Considerations 26

    Call to Action 26

    Resources 26


    Windows® 7 introduced Windows Touch, which makes PCs more intuitive, natural, and fun. By supporting multitouch technology, Windows 7 opened up a world of possibilities for hardware and software developers. The PC ecosystem has rapidly adopted multitouch and has provided many touch implementations for notebooks, all-in-one devices, touch-enabled monitors, and now slate PCs.

    Touch enhancements make Windows 7 a compelling operating system for slate PCs. Windows 7, Windows Live™, and Windows Internet Explorer® 9 features are designed to work for touch experiences. Beyond native platform support for multitouch applications, the new taskbar in Windows 7 simplifies launching and switching between programs, and touch gestures enhance overall user experience and web browsing.

    Slate PCs are primarily recommended for consumption of information, services, and content available on the Internet. Windows 7 supports core usage scenarios for slate PCs including web browsing, communication, social networking, media consumption (including music, video, and TV), casual gaming, location-based services, and reading. Success in delivering these scenarios requires a product that meets customer expectations for ease of use, performance, battery life, weight, screen size, resolution, security, and reliability. The combination of Windows 7 Home Premium, Windows Live, and innovative PC designs at competitive price points delivers the best experience for customers.

    This document provides guidance for OEMs that want to take full advantage of Windows on slate PCs, by addressing the following topics:

    • Touch Investments. Windows 7, Windows Live, Internet Explorer 9

    • Fundamentals. Hardware and Windows Logo Program requirements

    • Design Principles. Recommendations on hardware and application design

    • Windows assets. Windows Live, Touch Pack for Windows 7, Windows Media® Center

    Touch investments in Windows 7, Windows Live, and Internet Explorer 9

    When a compatible digitizer is available to the Windows 7 Home Premium, Professional, Enterprise, or Ultimate editions, the operating system detects the digitizer and automatically adjusts its settings to provide a better touch experience for the user. Table 1 summarizes the extensive touch capabilities in Windows 7.

    Table 1: Touch Capabilities in Windows 7


    Touch Capability




    Tap/double-tap to select and open.



    Panning/scrolling with inertia in applications with scroll bars (one or two finger panning).



    Zoom in any application that supports zoom, by using CTRL + scroll wheel.



    Press and tap and press and hold to right-click an item.


    High DPI

    Change to high DPI (120 pixels per inch) to display user interface elements that are easier to see and touch accurately. This is configurable by OEMs and end-users.



    Flick to move forward or backward (navigational flicks); also customizable for other uses (for example, copy, paste, and undo).



    Drag up on taskbar icons to open jump lists; increased spacing between lines for touch.


    Press and drag

    Press and drag on preview thumbnails to peek into the windows (same as hovering over thumbnails with the mouse pointer).


    Larger button

    The Show Desktop button is larger on touch-enabled PCs.


    Press and hold

    Press and hold on the Show Desktop button topPeek at the desktop (same as hovering with the mouse pointer).

    Touch keyboard (Tablet PC Input Panel)

    Text prediction and multitouch input

    Resizable on-screen keyboard that supports text prediction and multitouch input.

    Touch keyboard (Tablet PC Input Panel)


    The Touch keyboard sits on the left side of the screen; tap or drag out over the icon to reveal the keyboard. An in-place launch target also appears next to the text box when you set the focus with touch.

    Window Management

    Aero® Snap

    Easier with touch; no need to go all the way to the edge of the window to activate.

    Window Management

    Aero Shake

    Touch the window's title bar and shake the window to minimize all other open windows behind it.

    Window Management

    Window-boundary feedback

    Content of window bounces when you reach the end of the scrollable page while panning.

    Windows Photo Viewer and Windows Live Photo Gallery

    Gesture support

    Zoom, rotate, and pan. Photo Gallery editor and date view have high-quality touch experiences, such as rotate animations.

    Windows Explorer

    Gesture support

    Gesture support in preview pane, and zoom through views and thumbnails.


    Large buttons

    Touch-friendly button size.

    Snipping Tool


    Use fingertips to select area to snip.



    Touch-enabled navigation controls for all modes.


    Touch-friendly Ribbon user interface (UI)

    Ribbon UI includes more touch-friendly control and buttons sizes.


    Touch-friendly color picker

    Touch-friendly color picker enables easier color selection.



    Multitouch brush support enables all brushes support multitouch painting.

    Windows Internet Explorer 9

    Two-finger tap to magnify

    It is difficult to tap a link on a webpage accurately, especially if the link is surrounded by many other links. You can use two fingertips to tap anywhere on the page to instantly zoom in on that spot. Next, tap the link with one fingertip, which is easier when the link is magnified. When the new webpage opens, it automatically displays in normal size.

    Internet Explorer 9

    Choose how much to zoom

    To increase the zoom level, place two fingertips on the screen and move them apart. The page appears increasingly larger as you separate your fingers. To shrink the page, place two fingertips apart on the screen and pinch them together.

    Internet Explorer 9 changes page layout to increase/decrease zoom in 1% increments/decrements.

    With Internet Explorer 9, Microsoft has it made easier for users to get to the default zoom level through the pinch gesture. The pinch gesture will limit pinch zoom out to 100% (75% in portrait mode) to easily return to a natural zoom level with a quick single gesture.

    Internet Explorer 9

    Large hit targets

    It is difficult to precisely tap a small buttons on the frame with your fingertip Internet Explorer 9 features large hit target for common navigation actions such as closing a tab, or navigating back and forward.

    Internet Explorer 9

    Touch-friendly navigation

    New tab page provides large targets to navigate to your frequent sites quickly.

    Internet Explorer 9

    Flick forward or back

    Navigate back: Place fingertip on the page and flick it to the right, as if flipping backward through the pages of a book.

    Navigate forward: Flick the page to the left, as if you are brushing it off the left side of your screen.

    When you flick forward or back, Internet Explorer momentarily shows a preview of the page that is about to open before the page opens to the full-sized view.

    Internet Explorer 9

    Touch and tap

    Bring up the context menu (an equivalent of right mouse click) with the touch and tap gesture by holding one finger down while tapping screen with the other finger.

    Internet Explorer 9

    Space between links and items

    Internet Explorer detects when the user uses a fingertip instead of a track pad or mouse. If you slide your finger down on the address bar to open your favorites and history list, Internet Explorer widens the spacing between the links.

    If you slide up your finger on the pinned icon in the Windows taskbar, the jump list items will open with wider spacing. Wider spacing makes it easier to tap the desired link.

    Internet Explorer 9

    Open a link in a new tab

    To open a link in a background tab, you can place your finger on a link, drag it off its “home” spot, and release it.

    Internet Explorer 9


    You can place one fingertip on a long webpage and flick to scroll up or down quickly; or keep your fingertip on the screen and slowly push the page up or down to move the page slowly.

    Internet Explorer 9


    If a webpage is too wide to fit in your browser window, you can place two fingertips on a webpage, hold them there, and drag the page right or left.

    Windows Media Center


    Direct panning in Start menu and galleries (Pictures, Movies, Music, and more).

    Windows Media Center

    Touch seek-bar

    Large control with thumbnail peek into the video that is playing.

    Windows Media Center

    Larger controls

    Touch-sensitive controls with larger targets for touch.

    Windows Media Player


    Smooth scrolling through albums, artists, and song lists.

    Windows Media Player


    Drag-and-drop to create playlists.

    Windows Media Player

    Larger touch targets

    Larger touch targets for shuttle controls (volume slider, stop, play) make them easier to interact with using touch.

    XPS Viewer

    Smooth gestures

    Smooth zoom response to pinch and stretch gestures.

    XPS Viewer

    Two-Finger Tap

    Smart zoom, which enlarges text because of a two-finger tap.

    XPS Viewer

    Thumbnail view

    Thumbnail view is touch interface enabled, with zoom support.

    Windows Games

    Increased responsiveness

    Increased responsiveness for moving cards and tiles with touch.

    Windows Games

    Increased spacing

    Increased spacing of cards.

    Internet Explorer 9 Overview

    Internet Explorer 9 features numerous improvements that make it a natural fit for slate PCs.

    Site-Centric Design

    In Internet Explorer 9, the simplified user interface and site-centric user experience puts the focus on the content of each website. By default, only the controls essential for browsing are in the browser frame. This means less screen real estate is taken up by the browser, and this lets people browse and experience more of what their sites have to offer.

    As shown in the Table 1, Internet Explorer 9 provides many touch gestures that make common browsing scenarios easy.

    Note to OEMs

    OEMs can get more information about Internet Explorer 9 and touch support in the videos from the Internet Explorer product page: http://windows.microsoft.com/ie9.

    To download and use the Internet Explorer 9 multitouch tutorial video, please contact your Microsoft OEM account manager.

    Pinned Sites

    With Pinned Sites, favorite websites can be accessed directly from the Windows taskbar for immediate access to the site, just like any other application. Users spend about half their time in the browser and the other half in Windows applications. The taskbar can be personalized so that users’ favorite experiences are available in a convenient location.

    Users can pin sites to the taskbar by dragging the tab or the icon to the left of the web address from the One Box to the taskbar.

    Users can also group multiple homepages in a single pinned site to easily group tasks. With Pinned Sites, users can easily find and launch sites that they visit most often—just like applications on the PC. When a pinned site is opened from the taskbar, the browser frame and navigational controls integrate the site’s icon and primary color emphasizing the site and providing an even more site-focused experience.

    Note to OEMs

    OEMs should be aware that when a website is opened in the pinned mode, the following installed add-ons will not be loaded:

    • Toolbars

    • Browser Helper Objects

    • Explorer Bars

    OEMs should also be aware that only users can pin websites to the Windows taskbar.

    New Tab Page

    When the user opens a new tab, his or her intent is to navigate. The new tab page displays tiles for the sites that the user visits most frequently. This helps the user to go these sites quickly and without hesitation. Each site is represented by a tile with a large shortcut icon and a title which make it very easy opening with touch.

    Figure 1: Sample New Tab Page

    Note to OEMs

    OEMs should be aware that the most popular sites page (as shown in Figure 1) is created automatically by the browser, and is based on the user’s browsing history. OEMs cannot prepopulate this page because it is designed to be a personal experience based on the user’s browsing patterns.
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    Windows 7 Engineering Guidance for Slate pcs Microsoft Corporation

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