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Eee Is 1st Windows Laptop To Support Multi-Touch 237

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the still-playing-catch-up dept.
An anonymous reader writes "CNET UK has just put up its review of the Asus Eee PC 900 Win running Windows XP and discovered that it's the first Windows machine to support multi-touch, 'Better still, the mouse trackpad supports multi-touch gesture inputs — even in Windows XP. A pinching motion lets you zoom in on images, stretching lets you zoom out, and a two-finger vertical stroking motion allows you to scroll up and down through documents. MacBook Air and iPod touch users have enjoyed this feature for some time, but it's the first we've ever seen it implemented on a Windows laptop.'"
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Eee Is 1st Windows Laptop To Support Multi-Touch

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 19, 2008 @03:57AM (#23125984)
    Hey dumbass, macbooks are actually made by Asus, which is also making the Eee. Apple doesn't "own" any laptop factory to speak of.
  • Re:Dell Latitude XT (Score:2, Informative)

    by Facegarden (967477) on Saturday April 19, 2008 @04:00AM (#23125998)

    I thought the Dell Latitude XT supported multi-touch?
    It does, but last i heard the actual drivers that did anything interesting weren't ready yet, so it's possible that the Eee PC is just the first multitouch XP laptop that actually does something useful with multitouch. And this is all ignoring the fact that XP can be installed on a macbook air, because really, since it doesn't come with it, it kinda doesn't count in this sense. And again, the drivers probably aren't there. -Taylor
  • by archkittens (1272770) on Saturday April 19, 2008 @04:01AM (#23126002) Journal

    grandparent did not speculate on ownership of patents, instead simply remarking that they are surprised there are no patents on it.

    IIRC, apple DOES own patents relating to the technology, but a Chinese company owns the actual multi-touch hardware patents.

    kindly patent shutting your mouth

  • by julesh (229690) on Saturday April 19, 2008 @04:10AM (#23126026)
    a two-finger vertical stroking motion allows you to scroll up and down through documents

    I had an acer laptop about 4 or 5 years ago that supported a similar gesture for scrolling. This is nothing new. The rest of it, perhaps, but scrolling gestures have been around a while...
  • Re:keyboard is king (Score:3, Informative)

    by Solra Bizna (716281) on Saturday April 19, 2008 @04:31AM (#23126090) Homepage Journal

    Konqueror lets you scroll up and down with the cursor keys (shift+cursor key has some neat effects, too) and make all links on-screen keyboard-accessible by tapping "control."

    -:sigma.SB

  • by nguy (1207026) on Saturday April 19, 2008 @04:41AM (#23126124)
    I have to say I'm surprised this wasn't covered by some sort of patent already, or will tomorrow's Slashdot include the accompanying lawsuit?

    Despite the usual Apple PR distortions, Apple didn't invent multitouch and multitouch is old technology. At best, Apple may have some patents covering specific implementations, and even those may not be valid. Apple's real contribution with multitouch was to use just a little bit of it and integrate it well, but that's not patentable.

    ASUS either figured they're in the clear, or they're willing to fight it. Good for them.
  • by nametaken (610866) on Saturday April 19, 2008 @05:53AM (#23126340)
    OEM license follows the machine. You're not supposed to do that. :)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 19, 2008 @06:04AM (#23126360)

    Also, it is me or does it seem like Cnet is advocating piracy here? I mean, where do they expect you to get XP from...
    It only seems like Cnet is advocating piracy when you take the quote out of context, which you have. The full statement in the Cnet review was

    Of course if you really are set on Windows XP, the obvious suggestion would be to buy the Linux machine, then just install XP yourself - assuming that you have a spare copy of XP knocking about that is.
    Nice try though. Why would you even try to misrepresent that situation, anyway?
  • by amRadioHed (463061) on Saturday April 19, 2008 @06:19AM (#23126406)

    I wonder how hard it would be to actually write software that would allow multi-touch on any trackpad? On my trackpad tapping with three fingers works as middle-button would on a "proper" mouse, and tapping with two works like right-click, altough I prefer to use one of the corners.
    It would be pretty hard since the typical trackpad hardware doesn't support multitouch. If the hardware only reports one point of contact to the OS then no amount of coding can work around that.
  • by TheNetAvenger (624455) on Saturday April 19, 2008 @07:05AM (#23126552)
    This is what Apple does a lot - take something reasonably old and obvious, make it look spiffy and actually usable for someone without a CS degree, then sell (and market) it as the Hot New Thing.

    This is giving Apple too much credit even.

    The Multi-Touch implementation that Apple has used on the iPhone and iPod and Macbook, are EXACT UI multi-touch concepts 're-introduced' at the TED conference a couple of years back. (I think the demonstration may even be online now for people that didn't attend.)

    The TED demonstration put together some cool new ways of using multi-touch ideas for working with photos, zooming in/out etc. And in the TED presentation, the presenters gave the presentation as a spark to get people involved in using the technology, but some of the UI gestures they came up with were off the top of their heads as the admitted and needed to be refined or possibly done better.

    Sadly, Apple even copied these multi-touch gestures, not even expanding on the ideas presented as was expected by the presenters at the TED conference. (So not only did Apple copy the ideas, they copied them exactly, not even expanding the features that were made up for the conference to try to inspire better gestures and usage.)

    Microsoft also had a few multi-touch demonstrations several years back, along 2002/2003 timeframe when the TabletPC was the new cool thing.

    The TED conference presentation was a blend of new ideas, old ideas, and a few MS ideas, etc.

    Microsoft's surface also borrows from the TED presentation, although MS has polished some of the gestures and UI concepts, building on their work from earlier and adding in some TED concepts, and actually refining some of the rough ideas that Apple copied from TED. The surface computer is more than multi-touch though, as it can 'see' through the display, and is not limited to tactical input, so it can recognize objects, barcodes, even paintbrushes, etc.

    So, ya, you are being way to generous with Apple, the only thing they have done that is new or cool is the marketing that gets people like the parent poster to think Apple created this stuff and gets their loyal fans to look down on other people implementing 'Apple's Technologies'. Geesh...

  • by markdavis (642305) on Saturday April 19, 2008 @07:28AM (#23126618)
    >Usability is something MacOS hammers Linux into the ground for right now.

    Usibility in Linux is just fine. I have seen lots of people use it with no problems.

    >Hardware add-ons just fscking work, which is far more than can be said for Linux.

    Um, I can walk out RIGHT NOW and lay my hands on hardware designed for MS-Windows and watch it fail miserably under Mac-OS. That doesn't prove much. If your point is that Mac-OS supports more hardware than Linux, I would agree. If your point is that Linux has little or no hardware compatability or is "too hard" to use with hardware, I strongly disagree.

    On the EEE that my MS-Windows-user neighbor bought (and didn't even know it was Linux based), I brought over a dozen different things and plugged them into that machine and they all worked perfectly, instantly. This included two keyboards, wireless mice, an ipod, an external DVD drive, a pocket USB hard drive, an SD card, a USB memory stick, and my camera. None required any user intervention AT ALL to use, other than to plug it in and wait a second.
  • by ozmanjusri (601766) <aussie_bob@NOspaM.hotmail.com> on Saturday April 19, 2008 @07:59AM (#23126738) Journal
    But good luck to them if they tried to patent the gesture.

    Apple HAS tried to patent multitouch gestures [slashdot.org].

    We discussed it here a few months ago.

  • by RiotingPacifist (1228016) on Saturday April 19, 2008 @08:28AM (#23126842)

    Um, I can walk out RIGHT NOW and lay my hands on hardware designed for MS-Windows and watch it fail miserably under Mac-OS. That doesn't prove much. If your point is that Mac-OS supports more hardware than Linux, I would agree.
    I dont understand what your saying, there's a lot more MS windows type hardware than Mac. Also theres alot of hardware that windows/macos wont run on but linux will. Or are we only talking peripherals here, in which case there are weak spots on the linux front, e.g webcams, external sound cards, etc. (also a couple of places where it beats both mac & windows)

    Standard equipment that would cause a riot if it wasn't supported. Yes, even the iPod.
    Even though Apple deliberately try to break support with every version they release?
  • by El Icaro (816679) <(icaro) (at) (spymac.com)> on Saturday April 19, 2008 @09:34AM (#23127136)

    (Why is the menu bar on a DIFFERENT MONITOR THAN THE ONE I AM USING? This is not single-tasking 1984! Why do I drag something to the trash can when I don't want to delete it? And what idiot actually thinks Finder is a decent way to launch applications? And why is it so slow? And, and, and....)

    And when it comes to hardware, the general rule on the Mac is that it Just Works only if you buy pricey Apple-branded add-ons.

    Anything else is a complete crap shoot. Odds of getting my USB hard drive to work on a Mac are slim and none, yet it Just Works with every Linux system I've tried. Without touching configuration files (I don't even know where they are any more).


    Go into System Preferences, then Displays, then click on the tab with the two screens. Drag the menu bar to the one you want, it'll turn into the main screen.

    You drag files *and* volumes into the trash because you want to "get rid of them" (it even turns into an eject button to make he transition easier). It's kind of an abstact concept (not to mention these wacky 'windows' and 'icons' and 'buttons'... crazy kids), but it works. Finder is fast enough for me, I wish spotlight was a bit quicker though.

    All USB drives (six, for all my pirated stuff) work perfectly for me, except one I formatted with ext2, but that was just for linux. Never installed any drivers except a scanner app that came with my printer. All my windows hardware (external, admittedly, it's a laptop after all) works perfectly fine.

    Don't say you're system neutral when you're clearly a linux fanboy. Yes, I'm an apple fanboy.
  • by dfghjk (711126) on Saturday April 19, 2008 @09:48AM (#23127206)
    "Apple's real contribution with multitouch was to use just a little bit of it and integrate it well, but that's not patentable."

    What is patentable will surprise you.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 19, 2008 @09:48AM (#23127216)
    Like?

    Floppy disks? No [wikipedia.org], Hard disks? No [wikipedia.org], Optical disks? No [wikipedia.org]
    Microprocessor? No [wikipedia.org], Personal computer? No [wikipedia.org]
    PCI bus? No [wikipedia.org], AGP? No [wikipedia.org], PCIe? No [wikipedia.org], USB? No [wikipedia.org]
    PDAs? No [wikipedia.org], Portable MP3 player? No [wikipedia.org]
    Touchpads? No [wikipedia.org], Multi-touch? No [wikipedia.org]
    GUI? No [wikipedia.org], A decent OS? No [wikipedia.org]
    Mouse? No [wikipedia.org], Chiclet keyboards? No [wikipedia.org]
    1-click? No [wikipedia.org], Turtlenecks? No [wikipedia.org]

    So what exactly has Apple actually created besides Firewire and the reality distortion field? Apple hasn't done shit.

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