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A new Microsoft patent illustrates that they're once again trying to out-Innovate Apple's Popular MacBook Pro with a new Feature

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When Apple took the market by storm with the iPhone and iPad, consumers became more interesting in Apple's PC hardware that was innovating faster then the PC industry was at the time led by Microsofdt. In 2013, Patently Apple posted a patent showing a MacBook with a detachable display that could have acted like an iPad. Apple didn't want to proceed with that invention so Microsoft did. Below is Apple's patent figure, with the Microsoft Surface Book that surfaced two year later for comparison.


Since then Microsoft has introduced their innovative Surface Studio and more recently, their new Surface Laptop Studio and Surface Duo foldable smartphone.

A new patent published in Europe last Thursday now reveals that they're working on introducing a trackpad that could double as a drawing pad when used with a Surface Pen. It's a feature Apple's MacBooks don't offer yet. Though Apple has considered adding a touchscreen to a variant of their Magic Keyboard to work with Apple Pencil.   

Microsoft's patent FIG. 1 illustrated below shows a touch-sensitive display device #100 also includes a second touch-sensitive input device #104, a trackpad. In some examples, the touch-sensitive input device (trackpad #104) may be another touch-sensitive display that could use a plurality of touch-sensing electrodes to electrostatically detect presence of nearby input objects - e.g., human fingers or an active stylus #106.

In the example of FIG. 1, a user is using an active stylus to control the main touch-sensitive display device #100. The active stylus may provide input to the touch-sensitive display device in various suitable ways - e.g., by directly contacting a surface of touch-sensitive display #102, by hovering proximate to the surface of the touch-sensitive display (see FIG. 4), by touching and/or hovering near touch-sensitive input device / trackpad by transmitting data reported by a mechanism on the stylus (e.g., a button, switch, pressure sensor, touch-sensitive input region), etc.

2 Microsoft patent for a Notebook device to use a trackpad that could take smart pen input

Microsoft's patent FIG. 3 above schematically illustrates driving first and second pluralities of touchsensing electrodes to transmit outgoing computer data; FIG. 4 schematically depicts electrostatic communication between an example touch-sensitive display device and peripheral device.

Microsoft's European patent WO2023114591 was published last Thursday. Microsoft may also license this technology to Wintel partners as the patent belongs to "Microsoft Technology Licensing."

Microsoft's bigger project to get a leap on Apple is their work with Wintel partners to deliver next-gen tablet-notebooks in 2024 powered by Windows 12 and Qualcomm's Oryon processor that is being touted as being at least a match to Apple's M3 processor or even faster.

10.0F3 - Patently Extra News


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