Microsoft Announces Touch Mouse

January 12, 2011 | 12:54

Tags: #bluetrack #microsoft-hardware #multi-touch #optical-mouse #touch-mouse

Companies: #microsoft

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.
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