There are (at least) two things that set Microsoft’s Surface tablets apart from Apple’s iPads and most Android tablets. First, they run Windows. Second, they can work with an optional Surface Pen which lets you write, draw, or hover over icons, text, or other items as if you were using a mouse.

Microsoft designs its tablets and software in-house. But it’s relied on a company called N-Trig to provide the Surface Pen technology.

Now that’s moving in-house too… because Microsoft has acquired N-Trig’s digital pen technology.

surface pen_02

This’ll probably crush your dreams if you’ve been holding out hope for a future Surface tablet that used a Wacom digitizer and pen. But it also means the same company will now be in charge of both the hardware and software that provides pen functionality to the Surface tablet family… and to any other Windows tablet that uses N-Trig technology.

That could be a first step toward offering new features, better performance, or other enhancements.

There’s no word on whether Microsoft has any plans to join the recently-formed Universal Stylus initiative though, so there may continue to be competing standards for digital pens.

via The Verge

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4 replies on “Microsoft buys digital pen tech from N-trig, maker of the Surface Pen”

  1. Make us a mini-pen that will fit in a slot in the device! NOW! Then paying $50 for the full size pen will be a worthy acquisition.

  2. Honestly the N-Trig tech is quite good these days. The accuracy of the pen on my R7 572 is better than on any Wacom tablet PC I’ve used. N-Trig does have its downsides – reliance on AAAA batteries and susceptibility to fluorescent light interference being the primary ones, but the WinTab compatibility has been pretty well ironed out in the latest drivers. I don’t have proof of this but I have a hunch Wacom has been making it tough for OEMs to include Wacom tech in anything that might be seen as a direct competitor to Wacom’s latest tablet PC offerings.

  3. cool now if this can converge with Intel Core X7 for phones we can get a SurfacePhone that can run real windows apps.

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