Microsoft has done its best (arguably) to make Windows more finger-friendly in its various iterations, but the OS still falls short of dedicated tablet-centric platforms when it comes to keyboard and mouse free use. That leaves a niche for developers to step in with their own wares, and Mirabyte has done just that. Their app, FrontFace, slaps a custom UI on top of – or co-existing with – the regular Windows 7 desktop, including a browser, app launcher and social networking integration.
Considering Windows’ usability on touchscreen devices is one of the most common criticisms of the OS, we’re mildly hopeful about what Mirabyte are putting together. They’ll face competition from dedicated platforms like MeeGo, but the benefit of using Windows is the wealth of software already available for the platform. On the flip side, the deciding factor may be just how deep the interface goes: if you end up dropping out into bare Windows after going a few levels down, it may not be enough. FrontFace isn’t available to download yet, but the first public beta is expected to launch in a few weeks time.