Microsoft is Enhancing Precision Trackpad Support in Windows 10

Posted on March 19, 2015 by Paul Thurrott in Windows 10 with 0 Comments

With Surface Pro 3, we were introduced to the notion of a “precision trackpad,” which can be configured directly from within Windows. But with Windows 10, support for precision trackpads is improving, and the edge gestures we used in Windows 8.1 are being replaced by easier-to-use multi-finger gestures.

What makes a trackpad a “precision trackpad” is a bit murky. The Surface Pro 3, as noted—or more appropriately, the Surface Pro 3’s Type Cover—has one, as does the new (2015) Dell XPS 15. Regardless of the underlying hardware, a precision trackpad enables certain options in PC Settings (in Windows 8.1+), allowing you to finely control the device without additional third party software.

For example, here’s the Mouse and Trackpad settings display for Surface Pro 3 in Windows 8.1.

pt-win81

In Windows 10, Microsoft is changing how these devices work. And since the edge gestures from Windows 8.1 are changing in Windows 10, so too are precision trackpads. So instead of edge gestures, these trackpads will now support easier-to-use multi-finger gestures.

Here’s a chart.

gestures

There is also a set of related multitasking gestures, each of which maps to a corresponding keyboard shortcut.

mt-gestures

I’ll write about how the edge gestures are changing in Windows 10 next.