Developer makes MacBook Pro’s Touch Bar useful with Windows 10

MacBook Pro Touch Bar

Back in 2017, Apple proudly launched a new lineup of MacBook
Pro featuring the OLED touch panel called ‘TouchBar’. MacBook
Pro’s TouchBar is an OLED touch panel that replaces the
function keys and it is a mostly useless gimmick.

It looks like MacBook owners will be able to transform the
Touch Bar from an OLED panel above the keyboard to a useful
feature. As developer Ben noted in a Github
post, it’s actually possible to make MacBook Pro’s Touch
Bar useful by replacing macOS with Windows 10.

Independent developer has figured out how to get Windows 10’s
taskbar running on Touch Bar of MacBook Pro. Unfortunately, you
cannot try this out on your device as the project is still in
the initial days of developing and software or app is not
available to automate this process.

The Touch Bar has multiple configurations; the default
configuration provides a USBHID keyboard as basic function
keys. On the other hand, the second configuration provides a
customized USB display device and USBHID Digitizer (TouchPad /
Screen).

Windows 10 taskbar support for the Touch Bar requires
Microsoft’s USB Common Class Generic Parent Driver (USBCCGP)
and a modification to the Windows Registry. A driver has been
also implemented to support FrameBuffer transfer (display).

The custom-made driver transfer FrameBuffer content to the
screen and responses to the touches. All these changes
apparently allow the Bridge Display (USB link to the Touch Bar)
respond to Windows 10 and render the taskbar on the OLED panel.

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