Windows 7’s native support for multitouch is well known, but if Microsoft thought that would be another knife into Linux then they should prepare for disappointment. A French development group at ENAC have developed native multitouch using Linux 2.6.30, supporting the usual swipe, flip, rotate and pinch-resize gestures.
Video demo after the cut
While multitouch can be baked into Linux using the MPX system integrated into X.Org server v7.5, which offers multiple independent pointers at the windowing system level, the ENAC version actually sends events from the OS kernel. The ENAC code is also more flexible, using general libraries so as to be usable in more Linux versions: co-developer Mohamed-Ikbel Boulabiar expects it to be included in Google’s Android stack.
The upshot of this is that netbooks, nettops and notebooks that have multitouch-capable touchscreens won’t be limited to Windows 7 for their functionality. Linux’s market share is already down to a small minority of netbook/nettop implementations, and analysts suggested that Windows 7’s arrival could have squeezed that even further. With native multitouch support, Linux could well fight back against that prediction. Details on how to download and install the new 2.6.30 version here.
[via UMPC Fever]