Microsoft working with partners to fix trackpad behavior in Windows 8.1, first round of updates for public preview roll out

By on July 3, 2013, 12:45 PM

Microsoft is working towards fine tuning all aspects of Windows 8.1 ahead of release later this year. Despite its touch-centric nature, one area where the operating system hasn’t really shined is in its support of gestures across different laptop trackpads. According to The Verge, the company is finally taking the issue seriously and is working closely with partners to ensure a consistent experience on all devices.

Although the collaboration is still in the early stages, Intel, Elan, and Synaptics are all on board to allow Windows 8.1 to directly control the pointer, multi-touch, and gesture support in trackpads.

Areas of focus include smoother scrolling, better zooming and panning support, accidental activation prevention  to filter out non-deliberate touches, as well as supporting the full range of gestures available on Windows 8.1 so that laptop trackpads work more like mini touch-screens, similar to how Apple’s trackpads operate.

The initiative is being called "Precision Touchpad" support and we may see its first results in laptops shipping by the end of the year. At this point it’s unclear if the improved trackpad functionality will be limited to new devices or if firmware updates for existing Windows 8 machines are forthcoming.

First round of updates for 8.1: no critical flaws

On a somewhat related note, the recently released Windows 8.1 Preview has received its first round of fixes this morning. Available through Windows Update, the patch includes six updates that address a number of different issues, two of those issues are rated as “important” while the remaining four are listed as “recommended.”

One of the important updates involves new virus definitions for Windows Defender, while the other improves compatibility with a number of third-party programs AutoCAD, Parallels Desktop, Norton security software, and AVG Internet Security. The four recommended updates address an issue with Windows Store apps crashing upon launch, a bug that kept IE11 from resuming downloads, an issue that prevented signing in to certain apps with Google accounts, and improving “the robustness of data files in Windows 8.1.”

The updates are available for both Windows 8.1 and Windows RT 8.1.




User Comments: 7

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VitalyT VitalyT said:

Updates are good, but providing compatibility with third-party programs is confusing for an OS, as it is usually done from the other end.

ReederOnTheRun ReederOnTheRun said:

I think that might explain my issues with AVG when I updated to the preview. I'm glad they're fixing it though.

JC713 JC713 said:

Mac trackpads are the best. I love PCs more than macs, but the PC trackpads are just bad.

1 person liked this | ReederOnTheRun ReederOnTheRun said:

Mac trackpads are the best. I love PCs more than macs, but the PC trackpads are just bad.

They are really good! I like the Samsung Series 9 trackpad about as much as a mac's, but the scrolling was always inoperable with Microsoft's programs. Hopefully this gets fixed!

Staff
Per Hansson Per Hansson, TS Server Guru, said:

I can't tell you how pissed I got with the charms bar popping out at the most inoppertune times when I used my touchpad, this in Windows 8.1 preview.

Thankfully the Synaptics interface allows to turn this "future" off!

VitalyT VitalyT said:

I got Windows 8.1 with all the updates, then the latest Bootloader. And the trackpad on my 2011 Macbook Air works very well now.

Also updated Start8 to version 1.17 which supports Windows 8.1. The only problem I faced - BitDefender doesn't support Windows 8.1 yet, and it is not known when it will.

1 person liked this | JC713 JC713 said:

They are really good! I like the Samsung Series 9 trackpad about as much as a mac's, but the scrolling was always inoperable with Microsoft's programs. Hopefully this gets fixed!

They are definitely improving! The trackpads just need improvement on the OS side to be on par with OS X's (tutorials, responsiveness, etc).

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