In 2012, Microsoft made a concerted effort to embellish pen input support in its operating system with the introduction of the Surface line. Windows has long herald pen input throughout various areas in the operating system, but much of the support heavy lifting was done with third party solutions that included specialized software or dedicated drawing peripherals.
With the introduction of the Surface, Microsoft took it upon itself to include technologies both on the hardware and software side of things, to enable a more natural pen input experience for Windows users. Over the past four years, Microsoft has refined its pen input experience by expanding software support in Windows 10 and during Build 2016 the company introduced even more refinements coming to the operating system.
On top of the features showcased during its developer conference, Microsoft is also partnering with industry leading artistic software provider Adobe to give Windows 10 users even more robust pen support.
At Build 2016, Microsoft announced its Windows Ink API’s that are meant to help developers create strong pen input related experiences in apps, which in turn, adds to Windows 10 overall inking prowess.
Together we will unlock new natural ways of interacting with our apps with Windows Ink. Just two lines of code enable you to bring the “Hello World” of Windows Ink into your apps through the InkCanvas and new InkToolbar controls. One level down, the InkPresenter provides a powerful and flexible way to extend the InkToolbar and to create customize ink experiences. In all cases, the platform provides beautiful low-latency ink rendering, handwriting recognition, and ink data management.”
The new Windows Ink API’s introduced at Build 2016 are now revealed as a continued partnership between Microsoft and Adobe that dates back to the introduction of the Surface.
The group product manager for design at Adobe, Anubhav Rohatgi commented on Adobe’s continued partnership with Microsoft that has helped bring new technologies to the Surface line of devices as well as aiding Microsoft in delivering simultaneous pen and touch functionality in Windows and Adobe Illustrator.
Adobe has been a close partner with Microsoft for years—for example; Adobe has added native support for pen, touch, and high DPI displays in several of our Creative Cloud apps for Windows and the Surface Pro. As the leader in creative tooling, Adobe has been providing to Microsoft our expertise in the needs for improving the user experience on Windows for our creative users, and we’re delighted to see Microsoft bringing this to the Windows platform and Surface devices.”
Microsoft and Adobe will continue to tweak and refine the pen input experience in Windows 10 and after showcasing several demonstrations at Build 2016, their partnership appears to be bearing excellent results for users. Given the opportunity for precise pen input to positive impact the experience of using Adobe’s creating applications, this partnership should continue to bear some considerable fruit going forward.