Microsoft Research testing thumb +pen support to make Windows 10 more tablet friendly

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Email Twitter: @MindHead1 Jun 30th, 2017 inNews

Microsoft has had a jam-packed two months teeming full of announcements, conferences, and hardware unveilings. Between the beginning of May until the last couple of weeks, the Microsoft news cycle has been a whirlwind of information, at times, hard to keep up with which is why news of thumb + pen interaction testing may have slipped the purview of many.

Back in May, the Microsoft Research team published a YouTube video detailing what thumb+pen interactions could look like in Windows 10.

According to the team, the idea is to compliment pen support with a more natural user flow and in the teams testing, they go beyond what most correlate pen us with, drawing.

Thumb + Pen Interaction on Tablets addresses the simultaneous, and complementary, use of pen & touch modalities for interaction in laptop scenarios, such as when using a Surface tablet on the couch, where the nonpreferred hand must often hold the device itself. In this case, the thumb is available and sufficiently mobile to manipulate many controls, enabling a whole new space of thumb + pen interactions. This can allow one to readily interleave use of a pen between annotation and cell-selection on a spreadsheet, for example, or to select cells and copy them to another (possibly distant) location on the sheet-thus illustrating how pen and touch (via the thumb) can afford a far more casual form of productivity, even when one is just kicking back on the couch with such devices.

The video below shows a couple of use cases for thumb+pen interaction support and in its rudimentary phase, the combination is rather impressive.

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Thumb + Pen Interaction on Tablets

Microsoft has had a jam-packed two months teeming full of announcements, conferences, and hardware unveilings. Between the beginning of May until the last couple of weeks, the Microsoft news cycle has been a whirlwind of information, at times, hard to keep up with which is why news of thumb + pen in

While the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update is all but packaged for desktop interactions at the moment, this testing of thumb+pen interactions may be marking a new focus for the Windows team.

A seemingly lack of focus on addressing the tablet portion of its hybrid operating system has long been a complaint from Windows 8 holdovers, iOS users wanting to try Windows and tech pundits looking a good fight between the Surface Pro and the iPad Pro.

However, it looks like, with thumb+pen interaction support, even business workers who deal in Excel sheets can find efficiencies in what could be Microsoft’s re-focus on tablet workflows.

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