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Microsoft ‘puts the pen front and center’ and announces Windows Ink

Microsoft seems to believes the stylus is the future of how we’ll interact with PCs.

Bryan Roper, Executive Demo Lead at Microsoft, took the stage at Build 2016 and unveiled plans to expand Microsoft’s focus on stylus-based interaction, through what the company is calling Windows Ink.

“Make some noise if you write stuff down on pen and paper,” said Roper during the keynote. Windows Ink is putting the stylus “front and center.” Microsoft plans to create a dedicated section for pen-related apps that give Windows users the ability to nix physical pens and go all digital. “Inking is actually a platform,” said Roper.

According to a Microsoft survey, 72 percent of people still use a pen and paper for more than an hour a day. With the introduction of Windows Ink, Microsoft plans to bring pen-friendly writing and sketching apps to the forefront in the Windows Store.

Microsoft seems to be putting a great deal of focus into stylus support when it comes to Windows 10. The demo shown off during the keynote feature a sketchpad and a virtual ruler. In addition, Cortana was embedded into the platform as the word “tomorrow” was written and then automatically send users a reminder.

Windows Ink will be made available when the Anniversary Update to Windows 10 arrives later this summer.

Related: Watch Microsoft’s Build 2016 live stream right here

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