Besides announcing the release of the customer preview of Microsoft Office during the Microsoft Worldwide Partnership Conference in Toronto in July 2012, CEO Steve Ballmer announced Microsoft’s acquisition of Perceptive Pixel.

According to Perceptive Pixel’s website, “Microsoft will continue to manufacture Perceptive Pixel’s high performance touch screens, and the Perceptive Pixel team will become part of the Microsoft Office Division.”

Perceptive Pixel was founded in 2006 and has become recognized as a leader in interaction design. The company pioneered the research, development and production of high-performance multi-touch platforms. In 2011, Perceptive Pixel introduced the world’s largest projected capacitive display – twice – and in 2012, the company developed the first-ever simultaneous pen and touch solution.

The partnership between Microsoft and Perceptive Pixel is strategic for each organisation. Perceptive Pixel can leverage the Microsoft name and reputation, and Microsoft will be able to leverage Perceptive Pixel’s touch screen innovations to improve its own touch screen products.

“PPI’s large touch displays, when combined with hardware from our OEMs, will become powerful Windows 8-based PCs and open new possibilities for productivity and collaboration,” said Kurt DelBene, president of the Microsoft Office division, in a press release on Perceptive Pixel’s website.

It’s only natural that Microsoft would want to acquire a company that would help it compete with Apple in the tablet market. It’ll be interesting to see what the future holds for both Microsoft and Perceptive Pixel.