back to article Apple posts Magic Trackpad drivers for Windows

Windows users keen to make use of Apple's Magic Trackpad, announced yesterday, can now do so - possibly. Apple has posted 64-bit and 32-bit Windows drivers for the gadget. Aimed at Mac users who have also installed Windows on their hard drives courtesy of Apple's Boot Camp dual-boot system, the drivers' .exe self-installer …


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  1. StooMonster
    Jobs Horns

    Not that I want one of these

    But why would Apple limit its use to Mac hardware only? That's nuts.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Re: Not that I want one of these →

      for the £2000 entrance fee?

    2. Russ Tarbox
      Jobs Horns

      I agree

      I don't think they're going to lose a Mac sale because a Windows user REALLY wants to use this device, and yet could make hundreds of thousands of extra dollars by allowing PC users to buy it. Bizarre.

    3. John I'm only dancing


      All those Apple haters, and there are many, would have one of the sticks they try to beat them with removed. Besides, do they want to go down the Windows drivers road and all the associated problems with support? I think not.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Because as the story suggests, it's futile and therefore simply a dick move. Very typically Apple. Nauseating.

    5. ThomH

      I'm sure it's only temporary

      The first iPods were Mac only too. That said, I think the Magic Mouse still doesn't have any official Windows drivers (?), so possibly don't expect official developments soon.

  2. Select * From Handle

    The apple ITrack

    "Goes where you go, works all day, virus free"

    *small print*

    (warning may suffer from virus's and will shutdown when it gets to hot. goto and read up on how to hold it correctly!"

    Sorry i just had to... i really just cant stand apple at the moment haha.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    Forget the magic trackpad.

    How about drivers to enable multi-touch displays in the market to work with the Mac? Even Linux supports multi-touch displays already. The only drivers for my Acer T230H that works with the Mac is from a third party and costs a bomb, and even then it doesn't support multi-touch.

    Evil Steve. Because.

    1. Stuart Castle Silver badge

      Why evil steve?

      How is it Apple's fault that the manufacturer of your multi touch display has not written drivers for OSX? Apple don't actually stop manufacturers of other hardware writing OSX drivers.

  4. Si 1
    Jobs Horns

    If someone hacks a driver...

    ... I'll definitely buy one of these. The one thing I do like about Mac laptops is the multi-touch trackpads. I've got a hacked multi-touch driver for my Alienware but it doesn't work very well, it often ignores the fact that I've got two fingers on the pad and just moves the pointer.

    Personally, I find whizzing around a web page using two fingers to scroll is a really comfortable way to surf the web (is it still cool to say "surf the web"?) Mouse wheels are pretty good as long as you don't need horizontal scrolling. That said I wouldn't give up my MX Revolution with SmartShift when coding, it's unmatched for scrolling through large C libraries...

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    er driver is specific to hardware perhaps?

    The article and other posters seem to think this is some universal driver for any and all trackpads to become magical.

    Isn't it simply a case that this driver is for the specific hardware found in mac laptops.

    I know most people love a conspiracy and Apple are quite evil, but this is just a basic tech barrier, surely?

    1. Goat Jam

      They were my thoughts too

      until I googled "magic trackpad" and discovered that it is an external BT device that could theoretically be purchased and used with any PC

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Thumb Down

        Are you suggesting...

        that Apple are in fact duty bound to supply drivers for all the peripherals that it releases for all OS's? Hate to burst your bubble, but the reality is very different! Honestly, there are some genuine gripes to be had with Apple, but this really isn't one of 'em! It comes across as "Mommy! They won't let me play with their toys!". Sorry, but it does!

  6. DZ-Jay

    Re: Not that I want one of these

    I suspect that Apple is not so much limiting its use to Mac hardware only, as they are just implementing drivers for the only hardware platform for which they have control and interest.

    That is, someone *could* make drivers for other computers, Apple just doesn't care too much to do so.


  7. Rolf Howarth


    I'm sure Apple don't mind you buying the magic trackpad for use on Windows but they don't necessarily want the hassle of supporting it on all kinds of Windows hardware themselves.

    1. Mark Olleson

      Due to bluetooth?

      This looks to be a Blue-tooth peripheral - and Bluetooth support is by no means universal in Windows PCs.

      Apple would find themselves integrating with myriad shitty Bluetooth drivers and hardware (with associated bugs), not to mention having a difficult 'is this compatible?' issue to handle in store.

      Supporting Bootcamp only, they don't have any of these variables.

  8. Tzael

    "enterprising coder extracts the useful files"

    Hardly need to be enterprising or a coder. Install the drivers on a valid system (i.e. a Mac) then use Windows' own features for backing up drivers.

    I am guessing the original installer is doing the check to see if the machine qualifies for installation, and that the installer package possibly uses encryption to prevent straightforward extraction of the driver files. All in vain since you can just use device manager to create a backup of the drivers. The essential driver files can now be copied to another (non-Mac) computer and installed using normal methods.

  9. Ian 62

    Why should they bother?

    Plenty of other manufacturers of gadgets only supply Wintel drivers, so why should Apple feel the need to provide anything except MacOS drivers?

    1. Slartybardfast

      Because of the money

      Once a manufacturer makes a Wintel driver it'll work on 95% of all Windows pc's. Therefore because of market share, manufacturer's of windows gadgets do not always feel the commercial need to write drivers for the Mac environment. Given that Apple is a minority computer maker.

      However, as others have said, if Apple were to produce drivers for Wintel systems, they would sell a lot more magic trackpads. They are not being forced to write a Wintel driver, it just makes commercial sense.

  10. TWB

    Re:Not that I want one of these - Agreed...?

    I'm a mac user and no fan of MS/Windows but does seem a bit daft.????

    (Also I would prefer a wired one but what do I know....)

  11. Anonymous Coward

    Why Should They?

    "We'd suggest Apple saves them the bother and ensures the download works on any Windows install."

    Why? What benefit is it of Apple's to do that? This is one of those peripherals that Apple has very little interest in shifting, and is instead, entirely focused on shifting the bigger hardware; the iMacs themselves.

    Providing they don't provide EULA-style restrictions on using it on Windows and Linux away from their hardware, I don't see a point in them making any extra effort to provide a full install for non-Mac Windows users.

    Microsoft often doesn't provide its drivers for Macs at all, and neither do other peripheral providers, although more and more are. So why should Apple put in the extra effort if it's not benefiting their 1st line product sales?

    1. alphaxion

      it's all about the money

      The benefit? I'm guessing we're (somehow) looking for an alternative reason than "to make more money"?

      I think the best reason would be "bluetooth on windows is a fucking nightmare" due to some manufacturers making incredibly shitty products (blue soleil, I'm looking at you!). However, that can be mitigated by selling a bluetooth dongle of their own!

      If Apple has very little interest in shifting the product, why create it in the first place?

      To be honest, they should have enabled the use of ipads as multitouch trackpads and additional touchscreens, connected through wifi. While we're at it, wifi sync for iOS?

  12. OffBeatMammal

    missing opportunity or creating hype?

    while I wouldn't buy a Mac just to be able to use one of these, I'd be interested in paying Apple for one of these for my PC ... in common with a lot of folks (and let's face it... Logitech will have an alternative in a matter of weeks probably)

    now Apple are never one to turn down a dollar so I'm guessing this is a clever | cynical ploy to generate more press hype for something more positive than Antennagate

    1. Quantum Leaper

      Watcom Bamboo Touch

      Not by Logitech but Watcom's Bamboo Touch is USB Trackpad and supports 2 fingers instead of 4, like Apple. Even Apple doesn't support 3 or 4 finders and lacks the trademark pinch to zoom and rotate gestures, on Window Boot Camp version.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Does this mean that BootCamp Win7 will support 3 and 4-finger swipes on my MacBook Pro?

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Halo


    Drivers are all well and good, but outside of basic button mapping surely it's the Windows applications themselves that need to know what to do when you multi-touch, pinch, rotate, swipe etc?

    Without application awareness this is little more than a large trackpad for PC users. Apple is providing drivers for basic Windows functionality as, one would assume, users are not going to want to dig their mouse out each time they boot into Windows.

    Have to admit, though, I do rather like the idea.

    1. Sooty

      not really needed

      All a windows application needs to do, is to process the current windows messages that it already processes.

      It's the whole purpose of the driver to translate pinch, swipe, rotate, and so on, gestures into standard win32 WM_XXX messages that any application can understand. All of the functionality is already there in one form or another, ie ctrl + wheel to zoom, this is just another way of triggering it.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns


    You mean I have to wait for someone to jailbreak the driver to use it on my PC, damn you Apple!

  16. Stuart Duel
    Jobs Horns


    I'm sure Apple will produce non-Bootcamp Windows drivers at some point in the near future. Take care of Macs first, polluted Macs second and then the trash (the rest of the PC industry) last.

    But is it detected as a generic track pad device by a Windows PC currently?

    @ Stuart Castle who said "Apple don't actually stop manufacturers of other hardware writing OSX drivers."

    That statement is not entirely correct. When was the last time you saw a 3rd party video card, i.e. not one by NVidia or AMD/ATI? That's right, never. And that is specifically because Apple deems it to be so. Afterall, there's money to be made in outrageously expensive made for Mac only graphics upgrades (or no upgrades at all for you - buy a new Mac Pro!).

    I just wish Apple would consider there would be even more money to be made by allowing 3rd party cards, even if it was strictly invitation only to keep the dodgy no-name vampires at bay. The OEMs of the chips might then be inclined to put more effort into their Mac drivers if there was a bit more competition and therefore a more viable market.

    You'd think Apple would notice the burgeoning market for reflashed Windows graphics cards and reconsider their bloody mindedness. Apple can be obsessive-compulsive control freaks as we all know. Tell me iWhatever needs to be thinner again Steve Jobs and I'll introduce you to Betty Ford.

    Practically every other component, peripheral, expansion card or device you can think of from recognised brands (and then some) work off the bat, support being built into OS X, or rarely just a driver install away.

    My Quicksilver 2002 running OS X 10.5 (Leopard) is still going fast and strong, courtesy of a processor upgrade and SATA controller a good few years ago. The reflashed video card hasn't gone the distance though. She'll get one more round of judicious bargain upgrades to push her right to the limits of her abilities and stay in service until there is a catastrophic failure. But the way these things just keep going, the world just might end first.

    It can be fun to tinker inside the box, I'll admit that. Unlike my Windows days though, it's just open case; install card; close case; power on; start work. Not a lot of nail-biting excitement, thrills and spills there. For Windows it was all too often that plus install drivers; resolve conflicts; reinstall drivers; re-resolve conflicts; card works but another now doesn't; rearrange expansion cards; new problems... 10pm and finally..! Oh, wait...

    Can't say I miss that.

    *Devil Jobs because he really can be a pain in the arse.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Extract setup files

      The individual files in the Apple setup can be extracted using WinRAR. Just open the exe. Inside is a file called BootCampUpdate64.msp (for the 64bit setup). Right-click this file in WinRAR and click 'View file'. You'll now see all the files which you can extract.

      My question is, does anyone know which of these files should be copied, and where to?

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why should Apple support Windows?

    What is the point in Apple bothering with the hassle of making this work with regular Windows versions (leaving aside the issues of needing to interface with Bluetooth on Windows). Loads of manufacturers don't bother to produce Mac OS X drivers so why should Apple bother about Windows? All they would be doing would be opening themselves up to the usual Windows hassle when the whole point of Mac stuff is it just works.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Extract setup files

    I got it working on Win7 64bit non-Bootcamp PC:

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