Microsoft has begun testing out a new virtual trackpad feature in Windows 10, allowing users to turn their tablets into mice while using external displays. Chances are it'll form part of the OS's "Creators Update" arriving next spring, with the feature now live in the latest Windows 10 Insider Preview release (build 14965, if you're interested). The virtual trackpad is exactly what it sounds like: A square boundary with left and right mouse buttons sitting below it, performing the function you'd expect but using a device's touchscreen to receive inputs.
The idea is a Windows 10 tablet can double as a mouse while it's hooked up to an external monitor or TV. While it may seem like a niche use case, it means anyone wanting to use their slate like a proper PC can carry one less peripheral with them -- assuming it performs the task well enough. The virtual trackpad comes to Windows 10 alongside updates to Microsoft's Sticky Notes and Windows Ink Workspace software, and you can take it for a spin right now provided you're in the Insider program's Fast Ring.
Here's the new onscreen trackpad feature for Windows 10. Designed for when you connect to a second display and don't have a mouse pic.twitter.com/yiL3uVLduS— Tom Warren (@tomwarren) November 9, 2016