Microsoft Touch Mouse
Microsoft Hardware has designed a new computer mouse called Microsoft Touch Mouse which adds touch features on top of the usual mouse functionality. The mouse looks like any other mouse albeit with a weird form factor on first glance. It offers no mouse buttons in the traditional sense of the word, only a touch interface that makes up the upper half of the mouse body.
The touch interface reacts to touches. It is possible for instance to left-click and right-click by taping the finger in the right locations on the mouse surface. Microsoft states that it can do everything that a normal mouse can do which would indicate that there should be an emulation of a middle-mouse button as well. That's however not confirmed and not shown in any of the videos.
The video demonstrates the capabilities of the touch features of the mouse. It is possible to use one, two or three fingers to activate features on the screen.
One Finger lets you manage the content of a document or webpage â€“ moving one finger lets you precisely scroll in any direction and hyperscroll through long documents with a quick flick of your finger, while using your thumb lets you move back/forward easily through your internet browser.
Two Fingers lets you manage multiple windows by maximizing, minimizing, restoring, and snapping them side-by-side.
Three Fingers lets you navigate the whole desktop â€“ three fingers up to display all of your open windows for easy task switching or three fingers down for clearing the desktop entirely.
It uses BlueTrack Technology to work on virtually any surface without difficulties. The USB Nano transceiver can pick up signals at a 30-foot range.
The mouse has been designed for Windows 7 exclusively and it is likely that drivers are shipping with it that enable the functionality on the operating system. It is not likely that the touch feature will work on other operating systems.
Microsoft concentrated solely on the touch capabilities of the mouse, avoiding other relevant information that users may want to know. This includes the mouse's dpi and whether a middle-mouse button is emulated or not.
The Microsoft Touch Mouse will be available in May 2011 for a price of $79.95. (via)
Would you buy, or use, the Microsoft Touch Mouse?Advertisement
As I’m a GNU/Linux user it is presently of little interest yet I can’t help thinking that very soon a set of open source drivers will be hacked together if the mouse is found to be useful rather than a gimmick. Look at what has happened to the Kinect…
This would than the first mouse from Microsoft that has a good performance. I write this because every mouse i bought, from Microsoft, i took (directly) back, to the supplier, because there all having a more than fairy poor performance. And even writhing this i am much to friendly for the Microsoft mouse.
Looks like cool technology! But would seem to be a bit difficult to remember the gestures.
Personally, I hat mice that you have to move. I have used Cirque/Alps touchpad mice for the last 15 years. They have had much of the technology in this new MS mouse for years now. See:
I’d like to test drive the mouse once it comes out, especially how the touch interface works in third party applications. Is there a middle-mouse button? Who knows. Is it comfortable to work with over long periods? Not sure if the hard surface will put more or less strain on the fingers and hands. To many open questions right now.
Jojo that sounds interesting. The page states that custom gestures are possible which is something that the MS mouse seems to miss.
I have gestures turned off since the mouse has all the functionality I need w/o that functionality.
That being said, Cirque was brought out by Alps corp a couple or so years back. Their support, documentation and driver updates are spotty.
My first thought is will there be a left-handed version because I am fed up of finding that supposed improvements in design like extra, programable, buttons are almost impossible to use left-handed with any degree of comfort or facility.
To me this looks just like the apple magic mouse. That mouse sucked and I thought even the mighty mouse was better. This will just be another gimmick. Microsoft leave the gimmicks for apple.
I don’t like this mouse very much, and it is certainly aesthetically inferior to that of Apple’s Magic Mouse, which was released long before that. I am not going into OS preferences here but I think that this is a clear example of how Microsoft’s photocopiers are better than their computers; in other words, they copied the magic mouse and are charging more for plastic!
Actually, I just bought the mouse today and the you DO have to click the buttons… they are NOT touch sensitive… get it right.
I just bought this mouse. The gestures are amazingly intuitive and useful, but I need the middle mouse button for CAD. Also, I can’t help but think that a multi touch zoom would have been easy to add as well. I might keep the mouse because outside of CAD, this mouse really is very useful, but it would be so much better if Microsoft released some updated software that mapped in a middle button and allowed for zoom. Even better would be a program that would let you make your own gestures.