N-Trig Multitouch Beta Drivers Updated; Company Receives $24m Funding

Microsoft has taken part in a $24m funding package in N-Trig, manufacturers of multitouch-capable touch panels already in use in a number of Tablet PCs, in what looks to be a strategy to boost hardware support for Windows 7's upcoming multitouch support.  Back in November, however, the initial multitouch beta drivers from the company delivered a shockingly poor user experience on the Dell Latitude XT; N-Trig have recently released new drivers, and the experience seems – with an odd omission – much more successful.

Gestures – such as pinch-zooming, rotation and similar – are all much smoother than with the previous beta drivers, and N-Trig has now fully integrated setup and configuration within the Windows 7 control panel.  Last time around there were separate feedback dialogs and control panel options specifically for N-Trig.

The odd omission, however, is pen support.  N-Trig have removed [pdf link] active stylus functionality from the beta drivers, meaning only touch support is present; palm recognition is also absent.  According to the company, refresh rate is decreased with more points of contact on the display: performance, they warn, "may not be optimized" when more than four fingers are used.