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Microsoft Surface Dial support trickles in

The Windows 10 Creators update is out, so it's time for Microsoft to talk about its accessories for creatives.

Now that the Windows 10 Creators Update is available and the big, content-creation-focused NAB show is nigh, Microsoft's drawing attention to some new application support for its Surface Dial creative accessory. In the Dial's case, every little bit of support counts; there are still only a handful of applications which explicitly support it, and as yet the promised firmware upates to enable onscreen use with the Surface Book and Surface Pro 4 have not yet appeared.

If you haven't heard of it before, the Microsoft Surface Dial is a programmable navigation and input device intended to replace the keyboard and control surfaces for people who need quick-access ways to supplement their dominant hand's use of touch or pen. Announced in October with the Microsoft Surface Studio, it has two modes: one as a Bluetooth-connected desk puck and the other as an onscreen, location-aware tool.

So, for example, on the desk it can control anything that can be done via the Windows 10 application programming interface or for which the developer already has general external device support baked in. These include operations such as adjusting volume, rotating, scrolling and so on. That's what's currently supported by the Surface Book and Pro.

On the Surface Studio, it has far more capabilities, since the display can sense where you've plonked it and applications can use it to interact with specific tools in unique ways, such as bringing up a color wheel and selecting from it.

The new arrivals to Dial world are Algoriddim's djay Pro mixing software -- today marks its debut for Windows 10, as well -- and CorelDraw. Microsoft's also underscoring Autodesk's Dial implementation in Sketchbook, which rolled out in mid-March, and enhanced support in Silicon Benders' Sketchable and Adobe Premiere Pro CC.

They join the still-small list of third-party products: Mental Canvas (3D sketching and flythroughs), StaffPad (music composition), BlueBeam Revu (PDF blueprint annotation), Siemens NX (CAD/CAM/CAE), DrawBoard (collaborative PDF markup), Spotify (music streaming) and Smith Micro Moho 12, formerly known as Anime Studio (animation). Plus Microsoft applications, of course.