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Windows 7 RC on May 5th

Apparently Microsoft leaked information about the Release Candidate (RC) of Windows 7 again and this time we have a date, May 5th 2009. There was the leak in February about the final release being around end of the year, and another leak about the RC at the end of March.

Normally, I could care less about a beta (that's what an RC is really; an advanced beta version) product from anyone, but when it comes to multitouch and Windows I pay attention. Why? Because as I've said before Windows 7 is going to take multitouch mainstream in the same way that iPhone has, only bigger. I don't mean to say that everyone will be using Windows 7 as of January 2010 or that even the majority of the world will be using it by January 2012. No, adoption may be very slow, even if the product is very good. It's a bad economy. Vista was less than hugely successful. Full adoption of Windows 7 may never happen. Perhaps Windows 8 will do better.

But the level of success enjoyed by Windows 7 isn't really important from an industry perspective. What is important is that multitouch will become a first class citizen for the nearly ubiquitus Windows operating system. The same line of operating systems used by nearly everyone (90% - 95%) of the World. That's mainstream. It doesn't get any more mainstream than that.

With mainstream adoption will come lots of opportunity for people to do really cool things with multitouch and probably some really lame things as well. The technology industry will make some big mistakes. Multitouch will suffer a lash-back around 2013 as people realize that it doesn't make everything better. But after expectations for multitouch fall and rise again to meet actual capabilities, multitouch will be everywhere and it will be the kind of magic technology we all take for granted.

By 2015 this blog won't exist because talking about multitouch in a blog in 2015 will be like having a blog today that's dedicated to the discussion of the keyboard and the computer mouse. It would be kind of dull and silly. All of that because Microsoft chose to make multitouch a part of Windows 7 in 2009. Think about it.

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More Stories By Richard Monson-Haefel

Richard Monson-Haefel, an award-winning author and technical analyst, owns Richard Monson-Haefel Consulting. Formerly he was VP of Developer Relations at Curl Inc. and before that a Senior Analyst at The Burton Group. He was the lead architect of OpenEJB, an open source EJB container used in Apache Geronimo, a member of the JCP Executive Committee, member of JCP EJB expert groups, and an industry analyst for Burton Group researching enterprise computing, open source, and Rich Internet Application (RIA) development.

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