When Microsoft first started talking about Windows 7 at the D: All Things Digital conference last year, a lot of focus was put on the touch and gesture integration of the operating system. Since then, millions of curious Windows users have downloaded the beta or release candidate; but while an apparent majority has praised the software for a variety of reasons, few people have actually had a chance to play with its multi-touch features.

This can be attributed to a number of reasons, from the lack of proper drivers and touch-friendly applications, to the mere fact that not everyone has a multi-touch compatible desktop or tablet lying around at home. Regardless of this, Microsoft wants to bring the feature back into the limelight, and thus has just announced a new set of applications that show what's possible with this novel way of interacting with your PC.

Dubbed the Microsoft Touch Pack for Windows 7, the set comprises of six multi-touch optimized applications and games, including a map application called Microsoft Surface Globe, a simple collage making tool to move and scale photos however you please, and an air hockey game called Rebound. The Touch Pack will be available to PC makers, who'll have the option of installing these applications on touch-ready systems, when Windows 7 is widely available. You can read more about it at the official Windows Team blog.