Microsoft boss Bill Gates and CEO Steve Ballmer have revealed a select few features from the next Microsoft operating system - at the moment dubbed Windows 7.

Shown at the "All Things Digital" event, primarily featured was multi-touch technology that is reported as being similar to that of the iPhone and Microsoft's "coffee table" computer, the Surface.

Also unveiled was that the new OS will also feature an OS X-like dock, multi-touch gestures in photo galleries like two-finger zoom, flicking, and panning and a multi-touch paint program where you can draw with 10 fingers.

A multi-touch piano-playing application was also shown - presumably to drive home those much touted touch characteristics rather than being planned to be a big draw for the new software.

Slightly more productive, an in-depth mapping application that takes content from Microsoft's Live Maps and Microsoft Virtual Earth was also demoed. Perhaps unsurprisingly, anything not touch-based was described as Vista-like.

Obviously it's all very much at early demo stages yet and will no doubt be tweaked and reworked before the final version of Windows 7 is available, in around 18 months' time.