During Build conference last week, Microsoft announced their partnership with Wacom to create and produce Windows Ink capable solutions for the ecosystem. Microsoft said that customers can expect this Windows Ink compatible Wacom pen to be available at retailers like Best Buy this holiday season. Many people got confused about this partnership. We just thought we can clarify certain things.
First of all, Microsoft is not abandoning their N-Trig based stylus tech which they acquired last year. Microsoft will continue to develop their own stylus based on N-Trig. All Wacom based digital pens are powered by Wacom Active ES Pen protocol while Microsoft’s Surface Pen uses Microsoft Pen protocol. With this new partnership, Microsoft is licensing its Microsoft Pen protocol to Wacom. So, In the near future Wacom’s digital pen solutions will incorporate both Microsoft Pen and Wacom Active ES Pen protocols. Wacom is working to build pens that support both protocols, targeting delivery this holiday season at the end of 2016.
Since Wacom digital pens will include Microsoft Pen protocol support, they can take advantage of all the Windows Ink features just like the Surface Pen. This will also enable full Windows Ink support on various Windows devices from different OEMs which incorporate Wacom Active Pen technology.