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It’s time for laptop companies to switch to Precision Touchpad

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[系统(windows) 所属分类 系统(windows) | 发布者 店小二03 | 时间 2016 | 作者 红领巾 ] 0人收藏点击收藏

A new build of windows 10, version 14946, was released to insiders today. In common with the other builds we've seen since the release of the Anniversary Update, the new build doesn't offer a whole lotof new functionality―we're not expecting to see a ton of new features until Microsoft's Windows 10 event later this month ―but it does make a few small changes. One of these is a new interface for configuring touchpad gestures, pictured above.

This comes after the previous build made updates to touchpad handling to improve the detection of two-finger gestures and clicking. The Windows 10 Anniversary Update also made changes in this area, adding new four-finger gestures.

These changes are good to see. One of Apple's traditional strengths with its computers has been its touchpads. Not only does Apple have accurate algorithms with accurate detection of clicks and gestures, it also has rich and configurable gestures built in to, and updated with, the operating system. With Windows 10, Microsoft is able to match this capability.

But as is to be expected from the PC, there's one big catch to note: most touchpad users won't receive the benefit of any of these updates. Why? Because they require the use of the Precision Touchpad spec.

Precision Touchpad made its debut with Windows 8. Co-developed between Microsoft and touchpad company Synaptics, the spec changed how Windows works with touchpads. Traditionally, touchpads masqueraded to Windows as essentially USB- or PS/2-connected mice―simple two-dimension, single-input devices. Features such as multitouch and gestures were handled by a combination of the touchpad firmware and proprietary drivers. This meant that Windows itself had no ability to add new gestures or refine the finger-detection algorithms; it was all an opaque feature of the third-party drivers.

With Precision Touchpad, the raw touchpad input is exposed to Windows itself, allowing the operating system to choose how it handles the complex multi-finger inputs. The gestures, the disambiguation of taps and swipes―these are all now performed by Windows, not a third-party driver.

In Windows 8, the impact of this was relatively low; it meant that Precision Touchpad systems had fairly consistent sensitivity and gesture handling but little beyond that. That has all changed with Windows 10. Microsoft is adding new capabilities and new configurability, providing a meaningful benefit to using the built-in capabilities.

Unfortunately, many PC OEMs haven't been equipping their laptops with Precision Touchpads. Microsoft's Surface Pros and Surface Books include them, as do a handful of others such as theDell XPS 13 and HP's EliteBook Folio G1 . But many others we've seen, such as the HP Spectre x360 and Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon, use custom drivers, typically from Synaptics. As such, they can't take advantage of the new Windows capabilities.

As far as we can tell, it would normally be straightforward for an OEM to make the switch; touchpads from Synaptics, for example, can work as both Precision Touchpads and "legacy" mouse-emulating touchpads that use the Synaptics driver. It's just up to the OEM to pick one option or the other. We've even seen a few systems, such as, that make this end-user configurable; you can pick whether to work in Synaptics mode or Precision Touchpad mode, and we preferred the latter. Using the third-party drivers does offer the OEMs some extra configurability (for example, specialised handling of extra-wide touchpads) and some brand consistency (so that new laptops continue to have similar touchpad behaviour to their older, pre-Precision Touchpad counterparts). But we're not convinced that this represents any real end-user advantage, and the loss of Precision Touchpad capabilities is now becoming a meaningful disadvantage.

本文系统(windows)相关术语:三级网络技术 计算机三级网络技术 网络技术基础 计算机网络技术

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