HomeWinBuzzer NewsMicrosoft's Latest Surface Pen Patent Would Make Scrolling Easier

Microsoft’s Latest Surface Pen Patent Would Make Scrolling Easier

Microsoft has dreamed up a new use for the Surface Pen's retention clip, but software fixes could be a better alternative. It's not clear if the functionality will make it to market.


's is one of the best, but its productivity isn't always on par with a mouse. Scrolling is one of those areas, as users previously had to drag on small scroll boxes to navigate up and down a web page.

However, a recent patent publication suggests Microsoft is working on a solution. The piece describes a pen with a touch-sensitive retention clip that would send data wirelessly to a PC or tablet.

“In some cases, touch input on the display may not be the most convenient form of user interaction with a computing device,” it reads. “…In order to perform a scrolling operation with a stylus via touch input, a user may have to touch the stylus to a scroll bar that is visually presented on a touch-sensitive display. In doing so, the user may have to make small and precise adjustments to the scroll bar that may be difficult to perform.”

“Accordingly, the present disclosure is directed a stylus that includes a touch-sensitive retention clip.”

As well as scrolling, the clip could be used for zooming or other functionality. One example is to save battery, only activating when the user presses the clip to wake it up. Despite the functionality, show it looks largely the same, with little weight or thickness difference.

Now Redundant?

However, it's not clear how practical the feature would be. Users would have to move their fingers up from their natural resting place at the bottom of the pen. That's arguably more inconvenient, especially considering recent developments.

With the Fall Creators Update, Microsoft enabled the ability to scroll by dragging the Surface Pen across the page, the same as your finger. It's more likely users would use this when they aren't directly in front of the screen, such as during presentations.

It's also clear some users aren't happy with the way the Surface Pen scrolls. Previously, the tip was used to drag, drop, and select text. With the new changes, it's much more clunky.

Even so, it's hard to say if Microsoft will focus on changes on the hardware side or simply refine the software portion. It all depends what other functionality it can dream up for the clip.

Last Updated on April 9, 2020 11:51 am CEST

Ryan Maskell
Ryan Maskellhttps://ryanmaskell.co.uk
Ryan has had a passion for gaming and technology since early childhood. Fusing the skills from his Creative Writing and Publishing degree with profound technical knowledge, he enjoys covering news about Microsoft. As an avid writer, he is also working on his debut novel.