It is no secret that traditional PC sales are in a tough spot these days. With shifting tastes, more competition, and a whole new field of device form factors, Windows 10 has an uphill battle in for attention and relevance. Microsoft’s answer to this new reality has been to evolve the PC into a multi-modal flexible device.
Productivity has been the rallying cry of Microsoft around their operating system and Surface devices. With these devices the input method can mix and match between mouse, keyboard, touch, pen, voice, gaze, and gestures. However, Microsoft’s own built-in apps such as Mail and Calendar, Calculator, Alarms & Clock, have little to no support for these modern inputs.
The digital pen was a hallmark feature of the Surface at launch, but now the pen is not included with each device, and pen support is mostly relegated to just using the pen as a mouse cursor. Eventually the pen was dropped and became an additional expense for Surface buyers.
Still the Windows team is planning on bringing inking, voice, gaze, and gesture inputs to all of the built-in apps by 2030. When the design and plan was made for these apps it was never considered inking be a thing, and now with Windows Mixed Reality and the Hololens becoming a thing the apps will be getting some new design.
I work as an engineer in Milwaukee. Currently I work on a few different UWP apps primarily Ink Calendar.