Microsoft: Missing Wacom drivers coming to Surface Pro 'soon'

Current and potential Microsoft Surface Pro users who've been pining for lacking Wacom driver support for pressure-sensitive applications like Photoshop: Your wait may soon be over.
Written by Mary Jo Foley, Senior Contributing Editor

Pen-toting Microsoft Surface Pro users are going to get the missing Wacom driver support "soon" that will allow  Adobe's Photohop and other creative applications work properly.


Since Microsoft launched the Surface Pro in early February 2013, a number of users have been unpleasantly surprised to find pressure sensitivity for supported Wacom digitizing pens to be lacking.

Finger-pointing ensued. Some said Microsoft's decision to use its own digitizer driver based on its InkAPI as the default was problematic. Some claimed Adobe -- which was backing the alternative WinTab API -- was going to have to modify its applications for pressure sensitivity to work correctly on the Surface Pro. Others noted that Wacom's own drivers provided necessary WinTab support, but these drivers wouldn't install on the Pro.

I asked Microsoft officials a couple of times over the past few months for an update on the required drivers and was told the company had no comment. But in mid-February, one of the key contributors to Microsoft's Surface work tweeted that Microsoft was actively working with Wacom and the situation should be resolved "soon."

A May 9 tweet by Panos Panay, Corporate Vice President for Microsoft Surface, indicated that the updated Wacom drivers for Surface Pro were in beta and would be released soon.


I asked Microsoft again today what "soon" meant and was told there was no further information as to when the needed drivers would be out.

Update: Wacom has what appears to be a new Windows 8 Wacom driver -- which may or may not be the one Panay referenced -- posted for download on its site. (Thanks for the link @dan_tower.) Just choose "Windows 8" as the operating system in the drop down and you'll see "TABLET PC – Enhanced Tablet Driver 7.1.1-12," dated May 9. I've asked Microsoft officials if this is the Wacom driver for Surface Pro. No word back so far.

Microsoft officials said last month that Microsoft would begin expanding international distribution of its Surface Pro tablet/PC hybrid starting this month. The Intel-based Surface Pro will launch before the end of May in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. It will launch in Korea, Malaysia, Russia, Singapore, and Thailand before the end of June, according to an April 23 post on the Surface Blog.

This week, during an appearance at the Wired Business Conference, Windows Engineering chief Julie Larson-Green hinted that Microsoft may be ready to talk further about new members of its Surface hardware family within the next few weeks.

Editorial standards