While Microsoft has taken steps to make Windows 7 a bit more touch-friendly than earlier versions of the operating system, it still relies on tiny toolbars and other elements that were clearly designed for a mouse and keyboard rather than a fingertip. Mirabyte’s FrontFace user interface is designed to replace the default Windows shell with something a bit more finger-friendly.
I took FrontFace for a spin earlier this week, and while it definitely shows some promise, the software is still in its early stages. For instance, the promised widget engine isn’t fully functional. I also found flipping between running apps and open browser tabs to be a bit tricky. But if you ant to try FrontFace for yourself, now you can.
Mirabyte released a community preview today. It’s designed to run on any computer running Windows XP, Vista, or 7. It requires .NET Framework 4.0, but will install it if you don’t already have it. While FrontFace is clearly designed with touchscreen devices in mind, the software works just fine with a keyboard and mouse so you can try it on pretty much any tablet, desktop, or notebook computer.