updated 10:20 am EST, Mon January 12, 2009
Microsoft Invests N-Trig
Israeli touchscreen maker N-Trig today revealed that it has received a total of $24 million in funding from a group of investors led by Microsoft. The American developer is the largest contributor and says its undisclosed amount is there to encourage the use of multi-touch technology with Windows 7, which is the first desktop Windows platform to be built with touchscreens in mind.
N-Trig itself says it plans to use the new funding to develop capacitive touchscreens for notebooks and convertible tablets for outside computer makers. Its panels are already in use for the Dell Latitude XT as well as HP's TouchSmart tx2, both of which support multi-touch ahead of Windows 7 by using custom implementations.
The move represents an aggressive commitment to touchscreens for Microsoft, which is the only pure technology company part of the new investment and is supported in this latest round of funding by venture capital firms like Aurum, Canaan, Challenger and Evergreen.
Despite being one of the pioneers of multi-touch input in home-oriented devices, Apple has refrained from introducing a touchscreen to any of its computers and instead has relied on multi-touch trackpads; it currently owns much of its own technology through the acquisition of FingerWorks in 2005.