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Wacom Co., Ltd announced today its Universal Pen Framework (UPF) initiative has entered a new stage with Microsoft Corp. licensing its Microsoft Pen protocol to Wacom. In the near future Wacom’s digital pen solutions will incorporate both Microsoft Pen and Wacom Active ESTM Pen protocols. Wacom is working to build pens that support both protocols, targeting delivery this holiday season at the end of 2016.

“This is truly groundbreaking: now we have two leading pen protocols—by Microsoft and Wacom—that can be tapped on demand with a single pen,” said Masahiko Yamada, President & CEO of Wacom.  “Supporting multiple protocols makes our pen incredibly fast and easy for people to write intelligent notes, be creative, and get productive on their Windows 10 devices.  As well as advocating the digital pen as a primary interface tool for mobile products and services, we also believe in the power of digital ink as a transformational medium. Digital ink can convey people’s creativity by enabling ideas to be captured and shared over the cloud, while sustaining the evolution of those ideas. I’m looking forward to seeing how we can accelerate the emergence of digital stationery in collaboration with valued partners like Microsoft,” he added

“Windows Ink makes it easy for people to turn their thoughts into actions,” said Kevin Gallo, corporate vice president of Windows Developer Platform, Microsoft, Corp. “People that use pens with their Windows 10 devices are happier, more engaged, more creative, and productive. Today‘s agreement with Wacom will help all customers get a great Windows Ink experience no matter what pen-enabled Windows 10 device they have.”

Wacom has been supplying its Active ESTM pen solution to a number of OEM customers since 2014.  In order to ensure interoperability of digital pens among multiple platforms, Wacom has been developing the multi-protocol pen technology in collaboration with key IT industry players such touch controller suppliers, display manufacturers and platform developers, under the name of UPF (version 2.0).

As part of the UPF 2.0 initiative, this agreement between the two companies makes it possible for Wacom to manufacture multi-protocol pen solutions including Microsoft Pen and Active ESTM protocols on demand.  It is hoped that this will help to bolster broad consumer demand for digital pen and ink as enabling tools for communication, expression, business, education and entertainment, covering various aspects of people’s daily activities.

On January 7, 2016, Wacom introduced the Digital Stationery Consortium, which promotes the digital inking experience across multiple mobile ecosystems and solutions through collaboration with companies across a range of sectors, from IT hardware, software and service providers, through to businesses in stationery, publishing and education fields. The agreement on digital pen protocols is a huge step forward toward the era of simple, high-quality digital pen and ink experience, and it will form one of the pillars of the Digital Stationery Consortium