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Microsoft buys multi-touch specialist Perceptive Pixel

A touching gesture
Mon Jul 09 2012, 17:21

SOFTWARE HOUSE Microsoft has announced that it will buy Perceptive Pixel for an undisclosed amount.

Microsoft has in the past few years gone on a spending spree, with Skype and Yammer costing the best part of $10bn, and just last week it wrote off $6.2bn from its purchase of digital advertising firm Aquantive. However Microsoft's massive write-down didn't stop it from making another acquisition, this time user interface firm Perceptive Pixel for an undisclosed price.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer made the announcement during a speech in Toronto, months after the firm showed off an 82in touch panel at CES. Later Microsoft made it clear that the acquisition of Perceptive Pixel was part of its Windows 8 push.

Kurt DelBene, president of Microsoft's Office Division said, "The acquisition of PPI [Perceptive Pixel Incorporated] allows us to draw on our complementary strengths, and we're excited to accelerate this market evolution. PPI's large touch displays, when combined with hardware from our OEMs, will become powerful Windows 8-based PCs and open new possibilities for productivity and collaboration."

While Perceptive Pixel is known for showing off large touchscreens, there's nothing to stop Microsoft from incorporating the technology in future smartphones and tablets. And such is the industry these days, Microsoft could see this acquisition as a way to expand its portfolio of multi-touch patents.

It is not hard to see how Microsoft will make use of Perceptive Pixel's software to push its Windows 8 Metro interface in commercial applications. The firm also revealed in Toronto that it will release Windows 8 in October. µ


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