Microsoft confirms acquisition of technology from Surface Pen maker N-trig

Microsoft has now confirmed they have acquired technology from Israel-based company N-trig, which created the tech behind the Surface Pen stylus. The pen is included in the Surface Pro 3 and is sold as an optional accessory for the upcoming Surface 3 tablet.

N-trig was founded in 1999 and has been developing its digital stylus technology for some time. Microsoft had already invested money in N-trig, and owned about 6.1% of the company before the acquisition, which was previously rumored to happen back in February. In a statement, Stevie Bathiche of the Surface development team said:

We can't wait to show you what we'll deliver for our Surface Fans in the future. Digital pens have a ways to go to be as good as pen and paper on some dimensions, and we'll get there. But more importantly, adding the ability to capture and share the work you do with a digital pen opens up possibilities that traditional pen and paper just can't match. Today's investment is another step that will let us push that innovation forward.

The specific financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Source: Microsoft

John Callaham
  • And the pieces are come together.
  • Muhahahahah
  • Didn't Bill comment on something like this a few years ago? Saying he would like the next big thing from Microsoft to be a way to write on a tablet like you're writing on a piece of paper?
  • Now put it in my phone!!!!
  • That is a no-brainer. It will be sad if they neglect that opportunity.
  • Best kind b'y
  • A new Lumia with this pen would be AWESOME!!
  • Pen = Surface / business devices. No pen = Lumia / consumer devices. Phone with stylus and continuum from Microsoft is coming.
  • Pen is great for consumer devices too. Would love to have a Lumia with Surface Pen support.
  • I think that is a terrible idea, Stylus for consumer smartphones is proving to be a lucrative idea, and captalizing on the Surface brand name with Stylus capability would be an obvious choice. Windows 10 phone with a stylus would be an obvious action to do. 
  • I always liked the stylus that came with windows mobile devices. Then iPhone came out and the stylus was deemed dated and unnecessary. I'm glad Samsung brought it back to phones and proved its popularity.
  • Lumia Pen...just wait on it
  • Israeli Tech is something to be considered of.
  • They just got the technology.
  • "We can't wait to show our Surface fans..." I'm thinking (desperately hoping!) a Surface phone is in the works!
  • I hope so :)
    But first thing came out of my mind reading this news title, was that"Wow, and the pen will be much more cheaper than it is now"
  • Curious what would you want from a surface phone?
  • The build quality of surface is amazing would be awesome to have a phone made up like that
  • As long as they bring back the orig color I'm all for it.
  • I don't think they will considering longevity.
    The current color resembles the material used, thus scuffs and scratches aren't as apparent compared to a coating.
  • Well then that's one sale lost. They should at least offer it in different choices. Oh well.
  • Didn't they say that they would be using only polycarbonate for phones?
  • Galaxy Note capabilities
  • Cool cool. Cant wait to get my hands on a pen touting Lumia or Surface phone.
  • Bring Lumia 940xl with the pen ;)
  • Or surface phone perhaps
  • Lumia 940xl with pen? You make me start drooling.
  • Surface Note - phone
  • Lumia 1530 with n trig pen....
  • Might as well rename themselves Acquiresoft at this point...
  • IKR? After all, Apple, Google, and every large global business always source their IPs in-house! /s
  • As if Google didn't acquire YouTube, Android, etc.  This is the new way of doing business, unlike the 80s-90s.
  • Go back to bed. When you wake up maybe you'll realize errors of your bias comment. How's those Beat audio, and Beats streaming service working out for apple? Or YouTube for Google. Wait, isn't Google actually one of the companies looking to acquire Tesla? Hmm did you also forget they purchased, Picasa, Waze, Motorola Mobility (then stripped its patents and sold them).... Oh and Zagat, Softcard....i mean I could continue. But nah, most likely it'll fall on deaf ears.   find a new crusade.
  • Lumia brand for budget phones and Surface Phone for flagships .. Surface line-up has that reputation to be considered as a iPhone kinda Smartphone..
  • It can be used in next flagdhip ithink
  • Get out a phablet flagship with this pen inside it...and have a Surface Mini I guess
  • Anyone into digital art should be cheering them on, imo...if they can get N-trig up to snuff, Wacom would almost certainly be forced to price a little more competitively.
  • More sensitivity levels and tilt would make them unstoppable.
  • I see a stylus for flagship Lumia
  • Anybody can tell me the feel on the tablet when your write or draw something? Let say a pencil or pen on paper give some resistance. When you draw on a hard surface it feels like standing on ice.
  • It is hard to describe. There is resistance, but it isn't like writing on paper. I went to the Microsoft Store to play with the Surface 3. Fiddling with the pen, I just didn't like it. The feel isn't so much the issue as the inherent lag of your writing that bothers me. Regardless, this isn't a product (the pen) that I would want. It's cool, but I personally have no use for it. It's just like I used to always use my Type keyboard on my Surface when in school. Now, it's just a tablet and I rarely use the keyboard.
  • I may be wierd and the odd man out but I like drawing on the glass. It's like they perfected writing by giving it the least amount of resistance possible. We just train ourselves. Won't matter much anyway, I had someone tell me (have not confirmed) that they don't teach cursive in school anymore... Only a matter of time before people don't know how to write and let Cortana do all the work...
  • You can't think that you are drawing on paper. It's weird, but you prepare your mind for the feeling of stylus on screen. Before long you are completely used to it.
  • With this hopefully the can include it in their products now and give it special features like using note taking software I.e stickies, notepad, and OneNote
  • Like clicking a button on top of the pen to automatically open OneNote...
  • The pen could open a circle of commands to do things like opening your favorite note taking application and or drawing application
  • Wacom pen - no battery and minimal lag. N-trig pen - with battery and bigger lag. Nothing interesting:
  • The thinner screen makes it worth it
  • Heavy pen, batteries and lag.
  • If a heavy pen is an issue, I recommend you not skip arms day from now on.  I also don't notice the lag since I'm writing, but if I was an artist, I might have an issue.
  • Absolutely false. Have you ever used the wacom on the surface pro 1 or 2? The parallax is as evident as the day is long. N-trig has sooo little parallax is very impressive. Stop passing misinformation, and trying to support it with some half-wit YouTube video. Use it yourself and see if you still feel the same way. I promise you won't. I have yet to meet ANYONE who prefers the wacom pen to the n-trig pen, and I'm around surfaces everyday
  • Plus traditional Wacom pens have had issues at the screen edges. That can really get in the way of you want to do mark up in a documents margins. Wacom has seen the problems, and are now making pens with batteries, see Toshiba Encore Write 2... Microsoft need to get their pen up to that caliber ASAP
  • both have pros and cons and wacom is not perfect nor cheaper and ntrig being part of Microsoft means the technology can improve faster and better and Microsoft making the OS means it will work bstter on Win10 and all. Not interesting? Well maybe not for you. But for the future of Microsoft ecosystem and phones and tablets it is interesting. You are really hmmm.... well if you think the technology will stay the same and it will work exactly like Surface Pro 3. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Im an animator and use the Surface pro 3 daily for concept art using mischief.   There is almost no lag and the sensitivity is perfectly fine compared to my wacom.   The portability of the Surface has won the battle for drawing while traveling.   The battery has been under daily hourly use since january and is still going strong.   Surface Pro 3 has surprised me in how versitile it is.   Dont listen to crea7or,  obviously has never used one daily.    It takes a couple days to get used to drawing on glass but just like drawing on smooth vellum instead of sketchbooks,  its different but does not hinder your skills.  I recommend buying Mischief with the SP3,  its a match made in heven.    Love it so far.    The pen could use another version with soft grips for long use.  I disabled the one note button on the top.   It would benifit being able to remap it for other uses but not a huge issue.    On top of that its a great media machine for movies with an HDMI adapter to the TV.    
  • With the money of Microsoft and how nice they work in their technology lately. And with all these companies like Adobe and Autodesk and other companies working closer with Microsoft. Ntrig can become and amazing technology.
    Surface pro 3 is already good enough but it can be better od.course. :) Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • with N-trig pens needing a battery... What are the chances of a Phone with a built in holder or cylo (check spelling) for a stylus?
  • I wish this tech would trickle down into low cost tablets.  I don't need the full capabilities of pen tech, I only need something better then store bought 5$ "rubber" pens.
  • This would be good if it was also to support the Higher End Lumia devices which happen to be 5.7" and up, given that their resolutions are exceeding portrait 1080p.