Microsoft and Philippe Starck Unite to Create Performance Art

REDMOND, Wash., July 8, 2004 — Laying out a design blueprint for the peripherals industry to follow, Microsoft Corp. today introduced a new collection of trendsetting input devices, including a new mouse conceived by Philippe Starck, an interior and industrial designer known worldwide for bringing cutting-edge design to everyday products. The result of an innovative marriage of performance and art, Optical Mouse by S+ARCK is Microsoft’s first designer mouse to sashay onto the desktop.

Also announced today are three new special edition mice with original finishes: Wireless Optical Mouse in Mood Ring and Wireless IntelliMouse®
Explorer in Cobalt Basin and Crimson Fire. The latest in a continuing series, these wireless mice feature colorful graphic patterns available exclusively from Microsoft.

“People are doing such amazing things with their computers; however, too often the importance of the link between man and machine is underestimated,” Starck said. “The PC and what we use it for is an extension of us. It defines us just as much as the clothes we wear or the music we listen to. With this in mind, I set out to design an artistic bridge that would help people connect with the technology they use every day. The result is modern and refreshingly simple, and will transform the mouse into a badge item that makes a statement about your taste and personality.”

Brought together by the shared goal of delivering everyday products with extraordinary design, Microsoft and Starck began their alliance nearly two years ago, collaborating to create a computer mouse with a unique look and feel. Starck provided the inspiration and overall product vision, and worked closely with Microsoft engineers and designers to ensure that the mouse was not only eye-catching but also comfortable and easy to use. The result is a thoroughly modern mouse with a shape that fits easily in the palm of the hand.

Performance Art

Blurring the lines between form and function, the new Optical Mouse by S+ARCK features a sleek shape and shimmering finish. Two buttons extend the length of the mouse, separated by a distinct lighted strip, which is available in two colors — blue or orange. This striking hemisphere design and smooth form deliver comfort for both left- and right-handed users.

In addition, the product includes a scroll wheel for navigating Web pages and documents quickly without using the scroll bar and Microsoft®
Optical Technology for smooth tracking. With Microsoft Optical Mouse by S+ARCK, consumers are able to add a work of functional art to their desktop.

“This is the first time we’ve teamed up with such an iconic designer to create a new product,” said Ken Fry, design group director for Microsoft Hardware. “Philippe Starck is known throughout the world for his ability to bring extraordinary design to everyday items, from juicers to luggage, making him a perfect fit for this project. We are excited to create products that allow consumers to show their unique personalities with the products they use each and every day.”

Bye-Bye, Beige

Microsoft’s new special edition mice are the latest in a continuing line of products designed to deliver updated colors and graphics to the overall product lineup.

Wireless Optical Mouse in Mood Ring is a new graphic pattern created by Microsoft designers with a circular blue, gray and white patterned finish. Wireless IntelliMouse Explorer also comes in two new special edition finishes, Crimson Fire and Cobalt Basin. Featuring a fluid pattern of calm blues, Wireless IntelliMouse Explorer in Cobalt Basin brings soothing style to desktops, while Wireless IntelliMouse Explorer in Crimson Fire sports a gleaming red finish that is sure to be noticed.

Combining original style with the ultimate performance features, all three mice feature a scroll wheel with Tilt Wheel Technology and enhanced Microsoft Optical Technology plus an average of more than six months of battery life — three times more than competitor mice. 1

More to Come

Microsoft Hardware is looking forward to unveiling additional products later this year, utilizing worldwide research to offer new product and technology innovations that are uniquely tailored to consumer needs.

“With these new mice, Microsoft is once again offering consumers the opportunity to choose products that reflect their personalities,” said Matt Barlow, worldwide director of marketing and business development for Microsoft Hardware at Microsoft. “We are proud to offer products with world-class design as well as advanced performance and comfort. We will continue to design and deliver products that make it easier, more convenient and more enjoyable to experience the power of the PC.”

Pricing and Availability

The new products introduced today will be widely available to consumers in stores and online at http://www.shop.microsoft.com/hardware/ by the end of August 2004 for the following estimated retail prices: 2

  • Optical Mouse by S+ARCK: $34.95

  • Wireless Optical Mouse in Mood Ring: $44.95

  • Wireless IntelliMouse Explorer in Cobalt Basin: $54.95

  • Wireless IntelliMouse Explorer in Crimson Fire: $54.95

About Microsoft Hardware

For two decades, the Hardware Group has employed innovative engineering, cutting-edge industrial design and extensive usability testing to create products of exceptional quality and durability that enhance the software experience and strengthen the connection between consumers and their PC. Microsoft Hardware leads the industry in ergonomic engineering, industrial design and networking capabilities, offering consumers a comfortable computing experience.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

1 Study conducted by independent research testing firm Percept Technology Labs on Oct. 20, 2003, against Logitech®
Cordless Click! (TM) Optical Mouse/Cordless Click! Plus Optical Mouse. Go to http://www.microsoft.com/hardware/ for details.

2 Prices are U.S. estimated retail prices. Actual prices may vary.

Microsoft and IntelliMouse are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

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