Microsoft added some gestures to improve trackpads in Windows 8, but the underlying issues with laptop trackpads weren’t really addressed fully. With Windows 8.1, it appears that Microsoft is taking the issue seriously and working closely with partners to improve what has been a notoriously mixed experience for Windows users over the years. In a session at Build recently, Windows principal program manager James Clarke outlined some of the improvements being planned for the 8.1 release later this year. Microsoft has been working with Intel, Elan, and Synaptics to allow Windows 8.1 to directly control the pointer, multi-touch, and gesture support in trackpads. For Windows users this should mean that future laptop trackpads will work more like mini touch-screens in a similar way to how Apple’s MacBook trackpads operate in OS X.