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Microsoft Announces Touch Mouse

Microsoft Announces Touch Mouse

Microsoft's Touch Mouse is due to launch in June.

Microsoft has finally confirmed the culmination of its 'Mouse 2.0' project, announcing that the prototype 'Cap Mouse' is to be released as the Microsoft Touch Mouse.

Much like Apple's touch-sensitive Magic Mouse, which the Cupertino-based company launched back in 2009, the Touch Mouse combines a multi-touch surface with an optical mouse. This, according to Microsoft, offers its users the best of both worlds.

Designed for use with Windows 7, which brings improved support for multi-touch devices to the platform, the Touch Mouse varies how it reacts according to the number of fingers touching the surface.

Sliding a single finger across the surface of the mouse will enable scrolling, while a thumb-swipe moves backwards or forwards in a web browser. Meanwhile, two finger movements will maximise, minimise, snap and restore windows, and a three-finger swipe enables the user to jump to the desktop.

Mark Relph, director of the Windows developer and ecosystem team at Microsoft, claimed that the Touch Mouse represents 'a great way for customers to interact naturally with their Windows 7-based PC. We worked closely with the Microsoft Hardware team to help develop the multi-touch gestures that make Windows 7 easier, simpler and more fun to use. After just a few minutes with this mouse you’ll see why.'

The optical portion of the mouse uses BlueTrack technology, which the company claims will enable it to be used on any surface except mirrored or transparent glass. Meanwhile, the mouse's wireless connection is facilitated by the included 'Nano' transceiver; a device so small that the company claims 'it never needs to come out of the USB port.'

The Touch Mouse is expected to launch in June in the US at a recommended retail price of $80 (around £51), but UK pricing and availability has yet to be confirmed.

Do you think Microsoft's Touch Mouse could spell the future for mice, or is it a niche product that's unlikely to find a market? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

28 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
Fizzban 12th January 2011, 13:20 Quote
I would need to read some reviews first. In fact I'd probably want to test it out to make sure it functioned as it should and was comfortable to use. Sounds interesting though.
Fordy 12th January 2011, 13:27 Quote
Err the Mighty mouse had no touch sensitive portion.

The Magic mouse released around a year ago, on the other hand, does.

Bit of a mistake in the article there :/
Kamikaze-X 12th January 2011, 13:31 Quote
why do Bit-Tech keep saying that the Mighty Mouse is 'Touch-Sensitive'? its touch sensitive in the same way any mouse is... the buttons are clickable and the scroll is done with a small ball... well, at least it was on the one i used (which was a while ago, i'm probably not remembering it properly).
arcticstoat 12th January 2011, 13:32 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fordy
Err the Mighty mouse had no touch sensitive portion.

The Magic mouse released around a year ago, on the other hand, does.

Noted and corrected.
V3ctor 12th January 2011, 13:37 Quote
So... a mouse with no buttons? Breakthrough of the year!!
BentAnat 12th January 2011, 14:05 Quote
It sounds a lot like the Magic Mouse (which I love to bits). The deal maker or breaker for me would be whether or not it has momentum scrolling though.
it's the feature I miss most abotu normal mice ever since I got used to my Magic Mouse on my mac.
Cupboard 12th January 2011, 14:18 Quote
Whilst I'm sure some people will love it, I couldn't. Even if it is just the scroll wheel, a clicky one is a must for multiple reasons: switching between tabs for a start, one click=one tab.

And buttons are good: I tend to leave me hand on my mouse and without having to pick my hand up and mess around, I can close windows/tabs, go forwards and backwards and if I didn't want to be able to change the sensitivity I could do a load more.

/me hugs his G5 and MX518
ChaosDefinesOrder 12th January 2011, 14:28 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cupboard
Whilst I'm sure some people will love it, I couldn't. Even if it is just the scroll wheel, a clicky one is a must for multiple reasons: switching between tabs for a start, one click=one tab.

And buttons are good: I tend to leave me hand on my mouse and without having to pick my hand up and mess around, I can close windows/tabs, go forwards and backwards and if I didn't want to be able to change the sensitivity I could do a load more.

/me hugs his G5 and MX518

not to mention middle mouse button on hyperlink to open in new tab. I use that one a LOT!

otherwise I like the idea in principle
alpaca 12th January 2011, 14:33 Quote
anything that brings us closer to space-age input devices must be applauded.

*applauds*
Nexxo 12th January 2011, 14:37 Quote
I for one, welcome our new input device overlords...

Although Apple got there first, it is a nice device: like the Apple Magic Mouse, only more ergonomic. Big Fail on drivers only being available for Windows 7, though, although I'm sure the hacking community will correct that.
Pete J 12th January 2011, 14:49 Quote
I've used my brother's magic mouse - it's horrible for gaming with! Still, I don't think that's the priority for these devices.
Cei 12th January 2011, 14:52 Quote
Touch mice are terrible for gaming. I have a Magic Mouse that sits in a drawer, unused, whilst gaming is done with a Razer Mamba. Apple's new trackpad is great for non-gaming tasks though.

The problem with touch is simply a lack of accuracy. If you're playing a fast-paced game, you frequently end up not making the correct gesture (even for right-click), and scrolling accurately becomes a lot harder. Oh, and then the lack of any other buttons!
VipersGratitude 12th January 2011, 15:01 Quote
the magic mouse was a piece of crap...bought one because the logitech I was after was out of stock. big mistake.

a touch sensitive surface isn't useful at all when it sits on something designed to slide around easily, and mice are just the same as keyboards - it's nice to have a tactile border to the button you want to press.

I was coding, so constantly going from two-handed typing to the mouse, and each time I grabbed the mouse the cursor jumped across the screen until I had a grip on the mouse - not annoying once, but multiply it by a thousand times a day. It also forces you to rest your hand on the mouse in an unnatural position due to the fear of the aforementioned nervous cursor.

All this is, is Microsoft ticking a comparison box for a useless device.
DragunovHUN 12th January 2011, 16:49 Quote
"Sliding a single finger across the surface of the mouse will enable scrolling, while a thumb-swipe moves backwards or forwards in a web browser. Meanwhile, two finger movements will maximise, minimise, snap and restore windows, and a three-finger swipe enables the user to jump to the desktop."

That sounds very intuitive. I think i like it, but what about left clicking?
omems 12th January 2011, 17:14 Quote
I think I'd like that, but I hope they produce a wired version.

And I agree it'll be annoying for most FPS, though if the gestures are re-programmable it *might* be as good as a regular programmable buttoned mouse.
Cupboard 12th January 2011, 17:50 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by DragunovHUN
but what about left clicking?

In the picture, it looks like there is are proper left and right buttons. Unlike the Magic Mouse, where I guess you have to take your fingers off to click?

I'm still waiting for a keyboard with a pointing stick ;)
jrs77 12th January 2011, 18:04 Quote
I'd recommend to simply add a Wacom Bamboo Pen&Touch to your mouse and keyboard as this covers all the bases perfectly fine then.
Cthippo 12th January 2011, 18:44 Quote
So does that mean you have to keep your fingers off of it to avoid clicking buttons? I'll stick with my trackball, thanks.
Repo 12th January 2011, 18:46 Quote
A mouse with a touch sensitive top? I bet that's great for RSI sufferers...

£50 isn't bad for a premium mouse but I bet that $80 will translate to £80 :(
<A88> 12th January 2011, 19:28 Quote
It's nice looking, and some of the touch gestures are no doubt reasonably time saving, but I don't think it would be enough to drag me away from my MX Revolution due to the second scroll wheel. I've always found Microsoft to make the best keyboards and Logitech the best mice for a non-gamer like myself.
thehippoz 12th January 2011, 19:40 Quote
whats next a mechanical hand under the desk.. I like the wheel and buttons on a mouse, it's accurate- don't like to use the touchpad on a laptop either

it's perfect for a phone though
LordPyrinc 13th January 2011, 01:04 Quote
Just give me a device I can control with my thoughts please! I've never been a big fan of touch pads and could imagine a load of frustration using a mouse built like that.
fluxtatic 13th January 2011, 07:11 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cupboard
I'm still waiting for a keyboard with a pointing stick ;)

Word. I dig the mouse nipple on my ancient Thinkpad. Partly due to my horribly unergonomic setup, I would pay over $9000 for a keyboard with a stick/mouse nipple. Not for gaming, obviously, but most of the time, I don't need a full-blown mouse, and not everything can be done with kb shortcuts. That's not going to stop me from getting a Gigabyte mouse right about now, though, as I just can't take my ancient PS/2 ball mouse anymore. Which will also mark the first mouse I've bought that wasn't from $1/as is box at the local used computer parts store :D

I think the idea of a touch mouse is awful, but then I've never been a fan of Apple's 'innovations'.
maximus09 13th January 2011, 10:47 Quote
has to be bad for gaming, although it sounds interesting would love to see how it would work and feel. But would probably end up not using it!

I wonder if there will ever be a touch sensitive gaming mouse? I'm talking to you Razor! Of course include those custom profiles to set up different swipes for different actions; "swipe to reload" ;D
Repo 14th January 2011, 01:07 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by <A88>
I've always found Microsoft to make the best keyboards and Logitech the best mice for a non-gamer like myself.
Same here, however, Logitech mice are superior to MS mice for gaming too IMHO.
Waynio 14th January 2011, 06:15 Quote
No need for it, all I need is what I have in the razer lachesis mouse, normal buttons, wheel, tracking speed all easy to use, I don't bother with the other buttons on it & can operate my pc & game perfectly so no need for gimmicks :), I don't mind change but feel theres no need, well not for me anyway.
The_Beast 14th January 2011, 06:38 Quote
I'd love to try it but I'm pretty sure I won't like it. I don't like change
CrusnikMachine 16th January 2011, 06:02 Quote
it looks like it would still function as a regular mouse, just with added functionality.
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