Microsoft Rolls Out New Command Gestures for Windows 8

Wedge Touch Mouse

Source: Wedge Touch Mouse | Microsoft

Although it is Apple who started the gesture craze in 2008, it will be more important for PC users in the coming days once Microsoft launches its Windows 8 this fall.

To gear up its customers for the touch-based revolution, the software giant released a new set of gesture commands and associated hardware, making it easier for them to get around the upcoming operating system for PC.

For those who are already using Microsoft’s sculpt touch mouse, the new Windows 8 gestures should feel somewhat familiar. However, there are some changes on the commands that may need a bit of getting used to.

Basic Windows 7 Navigation

For those who don’t have the touch mouse that was introduced during the release of Windows 7 last year, here are the basic navigations that you need to know:

  • One finger for scrolling up and down or side to side
  • Two fingers up to maximize a window
  • Two fingers down to minimize a window
  • Two fingers to the right or left to snap an open window to that side
  • Three fingers up to show all the open windows, just like in OS X’s Mission Control
  • Three fingers down to show the desktop
  • Thumb gesture for moving backward or forward through applications and Web pages

Meanwhile, Microsoft announced that users who already have the sculpt touch mouse will receive a software update later this year so that it could work for the Windows 8 gestures.

Finger Movements on Windows 8

As for Windows 8’s command gestures, it follows the same principle as its predecessor:

  • One finger to manage content
  • One-finger slide to scroll in any direction
  • One-finger flick to scroll more quickly
  • Two fingers to manage apps
  • Two fingers slide to the left will display the Windows 8 Charms Bar, which includes quick access, new Share feature, connected devices, search, and Start screen
  • Two fingers slide to the right to switch through open apps
  • Two fingers slide up or down to show app commands
  • Thumb gestures for moving backward and forward through an application

Meanwhile, Microsoft’s upcoming OS introduces the new “three-finger slide to zoom.” Previously, the three-finger hand gesture is used on Windows 7 to show all open windows or the desktop. This means the three fingers up instantly zooms in, while three fingers down zooms out in Windows 8.

However, it is unclear whether this behavior will be available system-wide, or if the three-finger slide will behave similar to the Windows 7 in the traditional desktop.

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