Microsoft Invests In Touch-Screen Startup

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N-trig plans to use the cash infusion to further its work with OEMs to develop multitouch notebooks and convertible computers for the mainstream marketplace.

The company's touch technology is used in Dell's Latitude XT and was recently launched on HP's TouchSmart tx2. N-trig said it will announce more OEM design wins in 2009.

"With the introduction of multitouch in Windows 7, integrated with N-trig's DuoSense technology, our customers will have a new and natural way to interact with their PCs," said Ian LeGrow, group program manager for Windows Client at Microsoft, in a statement. "By simulating the way people write and touch naturally, N-trig is helping to make it easier to navigate your PC."

Riding on the Microsoft deal and other OEM contracts, the Tel Aviv-based company predicts that the mouse will eventually become obsolete.

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"The mouse, I think, is gone," Amichai Ben-David, CEO of N-trig, told The Wall Street Journal. "I don't see a reason to have one."

While it's true that a bevy of products using touch-screen features have debuted in recent years, such as the iPod and iPhone, don't count out the mouse just yet.

Bill Veghte, senior vice president of Microsoft's Windows group, acknowledged that touch is not useful for some PC apps and will not replace keyboards, according to The Journal.

Other investors in N-trig's latest financing round include Aurum Ventures, Challenger, Canaan Partners and Evergreen Venture Partners.