Microsoft Demos Windows 7

Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer unveiled a few details of the software giant's upcoming operating system, tentatively titles Windows 7, during the Wall Street Journal's "D: All Things Digital" conference.

Ballmer touted the new operating system's touch-screen technology, which Microsoft calls Multi-touch.

The new technology, similar to that of Apple's iPhone, will allow users to enlarge and shrink photos and navigate internet maps.

Ballmer said the touch-screen technology is just a small sample of what will be available with Windows 7 when it launches in late 2009.

"Today almost all the interaction is keyboard-mouse," said Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates, according to the Associated Press. "Over years to come, the role of speech, vision, ink all of those will be huge."

Gates plans to give up daily responsibilities at Microsoft in July to focus on philanthropy.

Microsoft refused to unveil other features of Windows 7, perhaps in an effort to raise consumer expectations too high.

Gates and Ballmer also defended Microsoft's latest operating system, Vista, which has been panned by critics, adding that all of the company's operating systems have had flaws that were corrected in later versions.

Ballmer said Microsoft remained in talks to partner with Yahoo but added that Microsoft was not planning buy the Web portal.

"We are not rebidding for the company. We reserve the right to do so. That's not on the docket," Ballmer told AP.

Ballmer added that Microsoft never considered the possible purchase of Yahoo as strategic. Microsoft now has $50 billion to spend on other deals, said Ballmer, according to Reuters.

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