Yesterday a new post went up at the Building Windows 8 blog entitled Touch hardware and Windows 8. The main focus was to talk about the fact that Windows 8 will support existing Windows 7 hardware both touch and non-touch.

The Windows team has continued to work in lock step with external hardware partners to fully embrace the experience we want for Windows 8. New Windows 8 PCs are coming, and while that is not a topic for this post, we at Microsoft are excited with what our hardware partners have in store for you.

It’s worth reinforcing that Windows 8 will run on the hardware available today, and we are committed to making sure that happens. So you should feel confidence in installing the Consumer Preview on the machines that you own today. However, as much as we value compatibility, we also have to balance this with making Windows 8 really shine on new Windows 8 PCs. We’d like to provide you with some perspective on our efforts and how we will achieve this.

Back in December of last year I purchased my first tablet and started using the Windows 8 Developer Preview in a touch environment.  That usage has continued until now with the exception that I installed the Windows 8 Consumer Preview at the end of February 2012.  That experience, as I have written about on this site many times, has been both frustrating and terrific.  A significant piece of my frustration was learning the touch equivalent gestures to interact with the operating system when you are not using a keyboard and mouse.

Well this new post from the Building Windows 8 blog may focus on the hardware side of things but for me the gem of the entire post is a graphic they have in the story.

Here it is:


That graphic is what I needed about four months ago as I was struggling to figure out how to do some key activities on my Windows 8 tablet.

Unfortunately there are still issues with websites and even operating system functionality outside of the Metro interface that depend on mouse hover and our fingers just do not hover very well at all.  Plus the user experience between the Metro side and the Windows Desktop side are very different when it comes to touch.

One thing that needs to be consistent for sure is when the on screen keyboard is invoked.  On the Metro side it appears anytime you tap into a text entry field and in the Desktop side after you tap into a  text field you must then go down to your taskbar and tap on the on screen keyboard icon.  By default the on screen keyboard should appear anytime you tap into a text entry field and mimic what we see on Windows Phone handsets.

How has your Windows 8 touch experience been?