Microsoft doc hints at new gesture experience on Windows 11

Windows 11 gesture controls

We know Microsoft is poised to unveil a whole host of Windows
features over the next few days. Windows 11 has already leaked
online, but there’s more to the show,
as suggested by the company’s Twitter handle. According to
updated documentation and job listings spotted by us, Microsoft
is working on new gesture controls for the OS.

Microsoft is planning to “innovate and develop exciting sensor
technologies” for future releases of Windows. As part of
Windows 11 or upcoming Windows updates, popular features like
“user presence detection”, gesture detections, and ambient
light will be improved to “enable a dazzling user experience on
Windows”.

The tablet experience is one of Windows 10’s weaker points,
especially when compared to Windows 8. With Windows 11,
Microsoft is also rethinking Windows 10’s tablet interface for
2-in-1s and tablets. The next-gen OS includes various changes
to how the user interface is displayed when using a 2-in-1 in
tablet mode.

Microsoft is apparently working on a new default gesture
experience that would sit on top of the user interface (and
your apps) to allow trackpad-like gestures on a touchscreen,
according to sources familiar with the company’s plan and a
document published in September 2020.

“Microsoft is considering introducing additional touch-based
gestures in Windows to make it easier for users to complete a
variety of tasks using touch,” Microsoft’s Azure program
manager Pranav Hippargi wrote in a support
document.

New touch gesture for Windows 11

Microsoft apparently wants the OS to control touch-screen
gesture that consists of more than two fingers even when apps
are open on the screen.

As part of this proposal, three-or-more finger gestures will be
routed to the OS by default and apps that have their own
gesture controls will not receive input in the default
configuration because the gesture will be routed to the OS
itself.

Microsoft officials believe this would be the default behaviour
for Windows devices and it will ship as “on”. However, users
will be able to turn off system-wide gesture controls and
restore the current behaviour. When the feature is disabled,
apps that use more than two fingers for a gesture will be able
to get the input.

“The introduction of a variety of new touch gestures into
Windows would be intended to accelerate common & important
tasks for customers,” the company noted in the documentation.

Since the company wants to maintain app compatibility,
Microsoft is working with the developer community and exploring
“different pathways” like allowing users to switch between
multiple configurations if they use more than two fingers to
trigger a gesture on a touch device.

“One example is to provide applications with the ability to
query for the setting and prompt the user to navigate to
settings and change it,” Microsoft explained.

The rumoured ‘gesture layer’ that would ship with Windows 11
will also allow trackpad-like gestures on a touchscreen.

In addition to tablet improvements, we’re expecting new gesture
controls for touchpad/trackpad too, but details are scarce at
the moment and we don’t know if all of these changes are
planned for Windows 11 / Sun Valley.

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