A Flick Is as Good as a Click: Microsoft’s Multitouch Mouse Takes Windows 7 to the Next Level

Las Vegas – Jan. 5, 2010 – Today at the 2011 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Microsoft Corp. unveiled the Touch Mouse, a new multitouch device designed for Windows 7 that lets people click, flick, scroll and swipe, making it easy and fun to interact with their PCs. Born from the Mouse 2.0 project conducted by Microsoft Research and the Applied Sciences Group, the Touch Mouse combines the virtues of a mouse with the rich natural language of gesture that lets people interact with Windows 7 in a more intuitive way.

“The new Touch Mouse is a great way for customers to interact naturally with their Windows 7-based PC,” said Mark Relph, senior director of the Windows Developer and Ecosystem Team at Microsoft. “We worked closely with the Microsoft Hardware team to help develop the multitouch gestures that make Windows 7 easier, simpler and more fun to use. After just a few minutes with this mouse you’ll see why.”

As Easy as One, Two, Three

Touch Mouse lets people do everything they are used to doing with a mouse, such as point and click, but also adds gestures with one, two or three fingers to amplify the Windows 7 operating system by creating simple shortcuts to the tasks people want to do most.

  • One finger lets people manage individual documents or pages by flicking to quickly scroll, pan and tilt, and one thumb lets people move back or forward through a Web browser.

  • Two fingers manage windows, letting people maximize, minimize, snap and restore them.

  • Three fingers let people navigate their whole desktop, showing instant viewer or clearing their desktop.

From Research to Reality

The Touch Mouse evolved from the Mouse 2.0 project (http://www.microsoft.com/appliedsciences/content/projects/Mouse20.aspx), a Microsoft study that combined the standard capabilities of a mouse with multitouch sensing and resulted in five prototypes. Although all the Mouse 2.0 prototypes explored different touch-sensing strategies and form factors, the currently code-named “Cap Mouse” was ultimately selected to become the Touch Mouse and help move the PC experience forward.

“When we set out to develop a multitouch input device for Windows 7, we explored a lot of options but determined this form factor and technology is best because it lets people grip their mouse and point and click, while also allowing for rich gestures,” said Hrvoje Benko, researcher in the Microsoft Research Group. “Touch Mouse is our stake in the ground with multitouch PC input devices and is really just the beginning of things to come.”

Additional Features

The Touch Mouse is equipped with BlueTrack Technology, letting consumers track on virtually any surface,1 and the tiny Nano transceiver is so small it never needs to come out of the USB port — just plug it in and forget it.

Pricing and Availability

Touch Mouse will be available in June 2011 for the estimated retail price of $79.95 (U.S.)2. It will be available for presale starting this week at the online Microsoft Store, Amazon.com and BestBuy.com. Microsoft backs this mouse with a worldwide three-year limited hardware warranty. More information about these and other Microsoft Hardware products can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/hardware.

About Microsoft Hardware

For more than 28 years, 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 hardware/software compatibility, offering consumers an easier, more convenient and more enjoyable computing experience. More information about Microsoft Hardware is available at http://www.microsoft.com/hardware and http://www.microsofthardwareblog.com.

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.

Some information in this press release relates to prereleased products, which may be substantially modified before it is commercially released. Microsoft makes no warranties, express or implied, with respect to the information provided here.

1 BlueTrack Technology does not work on clear glass or mirrored surfaces.

2 Estimated retail price. Actual retail prices may vary.

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