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Microsoft buys Perceptive Pixel, maker of large touch displays

The company did not disclose terms of the deal to acquire the "Magic Wall" maker, but says it should offer up new possibilities for its vendor partners.

Don Reisinger
Former CNET contributor Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.
Don Reisinger
A Perceptive Pixel display in action.
A Perceptive Pixel display in action. Perceptive Pixel

Microsoft has acquired Perceptive Pixel, a company specializing in large multitouch displays.

Perceptive Pixel made a name for itself in 2008 during the U.S. presidential election after several networks used its technology to power their large touch-displays. (Remember CNN's "Magic Wall?") Since then, the company has largely been operating under the radar and improving its technologies. This year, it announced the first-ever simultaneous pen and touch technology for its hardware.

Perceptive Pixel's hardware page currently lists 27-, 55-, and 82-inch LCDs on its Web site.

Although Microsoft didn't say for sure what it has planned for Perceptive Pixel, the company's president of the Office division, Kurt DelBene, said that its "large touch displays, when combined with hardware from our OEMs, will become powerful Windows 8-based PCs and open new possibilities for productivity and collaboration."

Microsoft's central focus has, of course, historically been software. However, the company last month unveiled a tablet, called Surface. It's possible that Microsoft might also use Perceptive Pixel to aid it in its future hardware plans.

For its part, Perceptive Pixel could only offer up excitement today, saying that it's looking forward to working with Microsoft's Office Division and "tightly interoperate with its products."

Microsoft did not disclose the terms of the deal. The deal will close following regulatory approval.