Finally, the wait is over and Microsoft has released Surface Toolkit for Windows Touch. Now we will be able to create Windows Applications that are touch enabled and works on Windows 7 computers with touch screens. The Toolkit brings many good old Surface touch controls including the much awaited ScatterView to the Windows platform. The good thing is that tremendous research has been done by Microsoft team in the areas of user experience and usability for these controls and hence we developers can save precious time otherwise spent on developing custom touch controls.
The controls included are:
LibraryBar, LibraryContainer, LibraryStack, ScatterView, SurfaceButton, SurfaceCheckBox, SurfaceInkCanvas, SurfaceListBox, SurfaceRadioButton, SurfaceScrollViewer, SurfaceSlider, SurfaceWindow.
These touch specific controls responds to touches, stylus and mouse clicks and have many special touch features (One example is the bulging out of scroll bars when touched).
One thing that is missing from the Toolkit is a Simulator similar to the Surface Simulator to help out those developers who do not have a touch screen. Also the applications written using these controls will now only work on Windows 7 and not on Surface. Hopefully these may change when they release the next version of Surface (Surface 2.0) based on .NET 4.0.
Microsoft Surface Toolkit for Windows Touch Beta can be downloaded from here and more details can be found at the Surface Blog.