My friends and I used to spend hours arranging (and rearranging) our printed snapshots on the dining-room table. Now we flip through our digital pics together in the same way: Two of us can grab and shuffle photos simultaneously when we use a new multi-touchscreen PC running Microsoft Windows 7, the first major computer operating system with the code needed to understand more than one finger-press at a time. The photo app we used, Microsoft Surface Collage, is designed to take advantage of touch, but any program will respond to iPhone-like gestures like highlighting text with a swipe or zooming on a Web page with a pinch. It’s also easy for software companies to adapt their programs to respond to new kinds of gestures. Updated 3-D modeling software, for example, will let engineers grab and remodel their designs, so a Lotus engine can be manipulated just as easily as my vacation photos.
From $120; microsoft.com