By David Worthington | Monday, January 12, 2009 at 4:01 pm
In an effort to make Windows 7’s multitouch user-interface one of the OS’s top selling points, Microsoft has invested millions in Israeli startup N-trig to provide PCs with touchscreen technology.
Today, N-trig announced that it had completed a US$24 million fund raising round from investors, including Aurum Ventures, Challenger Ltd., Canaan Partners, Evergreen Venture Partners, and Microsoft. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Microsoft was the largest investor.
This investment should help ensure that the screens work well with Windows 7 and any other multitouch devices Microsoft might release (touchscreen Zunes, anyone?) in addition to making the technology more widely available to hardware manufacturers. It makes a lot of sense for Microsoft to be certain that multitouch devices are on the market when it ships Windows 7, because customers will doubtless be looking for the feature.
A friend, who is a not-so-tech savvy lawyer, sent me a text message today expressing his excitement after he read an article about “Windows 7 having a touchscreen.” Customers will be dissatisfied if there are no multitouch PCs ready to buy when Windows 7 ships.
Microsoft needs happy customers in order to maintain its market share and strengthen the Windows brand. Its investment in N-trig is a down payment.