Microsoft yesterday announced its plans to acquire multi-touch display vendor Perceptive Pixel, a move the software giant said will bolster the hardware ecosystem behind its upcoming Windows 8 OS.
Microsoft has not disclosed the value of the deal, which was announced during the keynote address of its Worldwide Partner Conference in Toronto.
Founded in 2006, Perceptive Pixel produces large-scale, touchscreen displays used to support unified communications platforms in government, defense, broadcast and higher education.
According to the company, it’s best known for supplying the displays used by CNN and other news outlets to cover the 2008 US presidential election.
Microsoft said it would leverage Perceptive Pixel’s solutions alongside other hardware offerings from its OEM partners to support its next-generation Windows 8 software launching this October.
Unlike prior Windows releases, Windows 8 touts a new Metro user interface, optimised for touchscreen displays.
"The acquisition of PPI allows us to draw on our complementary strengths, and we’re excited to accelerate this market evolution," said Kurt DelBene, Microsoft Office president, in a statement.
"PPI’s 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."
The newly acquired displays could also play a role in Microsoft’s Lync solution, which provides video conferencing, IP telephony and instant messaging capabilities to enterprise users.
The acquisition of Perceptive Pixel is the latest in a series of moves made by Microsoft to broaden its offerings in the hardware market, a space it has traditionally reserved for its OEM partners like Dell and HP.
Last month, the software giant debuted its first home-grown tablet PC, Surface, which will compete directly against Windows 8-based devices from its OEM circle later this year.