Microsoft is working with Wacom on a new ‘Universal’ pen for Windows

Vu Anh Nguyen


Build 2016, live from San Francisco on March 30, is all about developers, featuring the best minds in Microsoft speaking about the company’s best new projects, ideas and tools for building a new world based on Microsoft technology. One of them just got shown off on stage: Windows Ink, which makes the pen an integral part of Windows. A platform needs a great tool to showcase its power, and you may be surprised to know who Microsoft is working with to make one. Yep, it’s Wacom. The news was confirmed via Twitter by Bryan Roper in the “just one more thing” style of the late Steve Jobs.

Microsoft initially partnered with Wacom for the digitizer pen for its Surface Pro 1 and 2. Starting from the third generation Surface, however, Microsoft made a complete move to Wacom’s competitor N-trig, going so far as to purchase N-trig’s pen technology to improve it in-house, resulting in the Surface Pro 4’s pen improvements.

Wacom itself is also developing a pen technology similar to N-trig’s approach with adopters already including the biggest PC makers in the world, and even working on a universal pen for these platforms, which makes this new announcement even more bewildering and exciting. Roper words seemingly means that the pen will be Windows-focused instead of just devices, and we can’t help but wonder if the “huge number of penabled devices” Roper mentioned will include the new Surface Pro and Surface Book.