Microsoft Delivers True Plug-and-Play, and Play-and-Play

REDMOND, Wash., Nov. 2, 1999 — Microsoft Corp. is providing new hope for PC gamers who don’t enjoy crawling under their desks to wrestle with a multitude of wires and cobwebs just to swap out peripherals. With the new Microsoft® keyboard featuring two USB ports, gamers can sit back and enjoy all the benefits of true plug-and-play with their USB mouse, game pads and joysticks without under-the-desk acrobatics.

“USB has been touted for its plug-and-play ability, but up until now that’s really meant crawl under your desk, risk hitting your head on the way, then plug and play,”
said Scot Schulte, lead product manager for keyboards in Microsoft’s Hardware group.

The new line of Microsoft USB input and gaming devices now available in stores – including the IntelliMouse® Explorer pointing device, SideWinder® Game Pad Pro and Dual Strike Game Pad – helps give users true plug-and-play capability by allowing them to hot-swap peripherals without rebooting.

“People aren’t really getting the plug-and-play benefit of their USB devices when they have to stop what they’re doing, crawl underneath their desk and mess with wires and dust bunnies just to swap out devices,”
Schulte said.
“So, we put the USB ports directly on the keyboard and in turn have given consumers the ultimate command console for their PC. Add the IntelliMouse Explorer, featuring innovative optical technology that replaces a mouse ball for greater accuracy, SideWinder Game Pad Pro and Dual Strike, and you can swap out toys all day without ever interrupting your game time.”

In addition to two USB ports, the ergonomically designed Natural® Keyboard Pro provides 19 hot keys – including two programmable ones – for instant access to users’ favorite games, Web sites, programs, documents and more.

Play Peripherals

Natural Keyboard Pro: the ultimate command console

IntelliMouse Explorer: optical tracking replaces ball for unsurpassed accuracy

SideWinder Game Pad Pro: the best of both worlds

Dual Strike: gamers’ adversaries won’t know what hit them

Pricing and Availability

All listed Microsoft hardware products are currently available. Natural Keyboard Pro and IntelliMouse Explorer have estimated retail prices of $74.95 each. SideWinder Game Pad Pro

has an estimated retail price of $39.95, and the Dual Strike Game Pad has an estimated retail price of $49.95. A traditional straight version of this keyboard, the Internet Keyboard Pro, is scheduled to be available in early 2000 with an estimated retail price of $54.95. All devices are available at major retailers or at http://www.shop.microsoft.com/ .

Microsoft Hardware Group

The Microsoft Hardware Group employs innovative engineering, cutting-edge industrial design and extensive usability testing to create products of exceptional quality and durability that improve the software experience and strengthen the connection between users and their PCs.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
“MSFT”
) is the worldwide leader in software for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software – any time, any place and on any device.

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

Other product and company names herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.

Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft Web page at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/ on Microsoft’s corporate information pages.

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