If you are the owner and operator of a Windows based PC then the chances are that you might have taken the plunge and downloaded the Windows 8 release-to-manufacturing (RTM) build that has recently been made available by Microsoft to subscribers of MSDN and TechNet. The Windows 8 operating system has gained some significant traction during the course of the testing phase and there is definitely quite a buzz surrounding the official release with Windows fan desperate to get their hands on Microsoft’s latest creation.
If you have already downloaded the RTM build then first of all welcome to the Windows 8 experience. If you’ve downloaded the build onto a laptop then one of the first things you may notice is the total lack of support for using the gestures on the built-in touch-pads found on the notebooks. Microsoft initially included Elan alpha drivers with preview builds of Windows 8, but for one reason or another these were not included with the current RTM build. Gestures are one of the great and powerful features in the new operating system, so it seems pretty pointless to have it without them.
Microsoft have confirmed that they are currently working with Elan to produce updated drivers for the operating system to enable gestures on touch-pads, but until then it has been shown that the old Synaptics Windows 7 drivers work just fine in activating theses gestures in Windows 8. The Synaptics website contains a list of downloads for generic touch-pad drivers that are available for most versions of Windows all the way from 95 to Windows 7, but the all important drivers for Windows 8 are missing. Thankfully, downloading and installed the drivers that are intended for use on Windows 7/Vista/XP seem to do the trick and even includes a full Synaptics control panel for enabling individual gestures.
The report from the Microsoft representative brings confirmation that they are indeed working on releasing official drivers in conjunction with Elan, that are built specifically to work with Windows 8, but with no official timescale on when that release is going to happen the driver offering from Synaptics should fill the gap very nicely for those running the Windows 8 RTM.