Microsoft is developing a system that could spell the end the use of computer mouse, Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates has said.
"The way you interact with the system will change dramatically," the billionaire said at a conference in Canada, according to a report in The Daily Telegraph on Friday.
He said that computer users of the future will control their machines by voice and pen as well as touch.
Users of Windows 7 will issue commands by touching the screen rather than by the traditional keyboard and mouse combination that has dominated since the 1970s.
Windows 7 is due to be released in 2010 and is Microsoft's attempt to catch up with Apple, whose touch screen iPhone has proved popular.
Touch screens are appearing on a host of other devices, including sat-navs, mobile phones and remote controls. A touch screen BlackBerry is expected shortly.