Microsoft has agreed to acquire large-scale multi-touch displays maker, Perceptive Pixel, the company announced today, at its Worldwide Partner Conference, report Reuters. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Perceptive Pixel was founded in 2006 and shipped its first large-wall display solutions a year later. It gained recognition when Time Warner, CNN and other broadcasters used its displays during the 2008 presidential election.
Founder and Chief Technology Officer, Jeff Han, took to the stage at the conference to show off the wall-sized screen, pinching and zooming on maps, marking up content with a stylus, and swiping between Windows 8 applications.
Jeff Han, Perceptive Pixel’s CEO, will join Microsoft’s team. Han has been a pioneer of multi-touch technology that became more pervasive when the iPhone, iPad, and Android devices started flooding the market. Time Magazine even named Han one of the top 100 most influential people in 2008.
The company already makes an 82-inch multi-touch surface that runs Windows 8. This year, it announced the first-ever simultaneous pen and touch technology for its hardware.
Microsoft Office Division President Kurt DelBene said in a statement that “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.”
Microsoft also said it plans to launch the latest version of its flagship Windows operating system in October, which Ballmer painted as the most important launch for the Redmond, Washington-based company since Windows 95 almost two decades earlier.
Microsoft's central focus has, of course, historically been software. However, the company last month unveiled Surface tablet. It's possible that Microsoft might also use Perceptive Pixel to aid it in its future hardware plans.
Microsoft said it will be sending Windows 8 to its hardware partners in the first week of August and it will be available more broadly by the end of October.
"This will be the biggest product and services launch year in our company's history, creating massive opportunities for our partners to grow their businesses," Ballmer said in a statement released alongside its annual Worldwide Partner Conference.
Microsoft recently bought social networking company Yammer in a $1.2 billion deal to expand its cloud services portfolio.
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