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Microsoft buys multi-touch firm

Software giant Microsoft has a new company to merge with its already multitudinous collection: Perceptive Pixel. Specialising in multi-touch displays and software development, the company was announced as a new Microsoft acquisition by Steve Ballmer, with it being made clear that the buy was part of Microsoft’s Windows 8 release plans.

With a much heavier mobile and tablet focus with Microsoft’s next operating system, pioneering multi-touch displays is certainly a smart plan, though somewhat curious in that Microsoft has been considered one of the fore-runners in multi-touch tech, first with its PixelSense technology in 2007 and followed on by its Surface display. However, with Perspective Pixel’s pedigree, Microsoft certainly has quite a pool of multi-touch developers to work with, giving it a good chance of competing with other developers of touch screen devices and the displays themselves.

Perspective Pixel
82" multi-touch screen running Windows 8?

Another thing to consider in the scrappy, lawsuit heavy world of mobile developments; Microsoft could also be acquiring a lot of new patents to add to its collection. If that’s the case, this is a simultaneously aggressive and defensive measure, since it will protect Microsoft from rival lawsuits and allow it to go after others with similar designs, if it so wishes.

The other plus point for this buyout – for Microsoft at least – is that with Perspective Pixel’s history of developing giant touch screens, it could lead to more commercial applications for Windows 8, as it would seem unlikely that Microsoft would attempt to sell big touch devices without including a bit of its own software too.

Kitguru Says: Does Microsoft’s buyout make you more likely to buy a Windows 8 tablet? Or less so?

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