Microsoft EasyBall Wins 1996 IDEA Gold Award, Capping Year of Widespread Critical Acclaim for Kids Input Device

REDMOND, Wash. July 1, 1996 Microsoft Corp.’s EasyBall
™mouse, the company’s first input device designed for children ages 2 to 6, has won top honors from the Industrial Designers Society of America. The 1996 Industrial Design Excellence Awards (IDEA) Gold Award for EasyBall caps a year of widespread acclaim for the Microsoft® hardware product for young children.
“We’re thrilled that EasyBall has won the honor of a Gold IDEA award,”
said Rick Thompson, general manager of the hardware group at Microsoft.
“This award, and the many other awards EasyBall has won since its introduction in May 1995, is proof positive that our user-centric research, design and testing process helps us define and deliver outstanding hardware products.”

The IDEA sponsors praised EasyBall for appealing to adults as well as children with a design that
“looks good in a home office,”
an affordable price, construction designed to withstand occasional falls to the floor, and
“ecologically responsible”
materials and processes. In addition to the coveted Gold 1996 IDEA award, EasyBall has won a broad series of design awards since its introduction, including these:

  • National Design Museum, Smithsonian Institution, inducted in the
    “Henry Dreyfuss Directing Design”
    exhibition, Human Factors in Design, May 1996 (exhibition dates scheduled for March 18-Aug. 18, 1997)

  • Industrial Design Magazine, Design Distinction Award, Consumer Products, July 1996

  • Appliance Manufacturer Design Magazine, Winner, Excellence in Design, May 1996

  • CES/IDSA Innovations, Best of Show, Innovations, January 1996

Compatible with Microsoft Windows® and MS-DOS® operating system-based PCs, Microsoft EasyBall looks like a bright yellow sun surrounded by Saturn rings. It delivers on Microsoft’s mission to make computers accessible and more fun for the whole family. The smart EasyBall design offers better control for little hands and flexible software that grows with the child. In Microsoft usability testing, EasyBall was preferred by children over all other mouse products tested. EasyBall is the latest product in a line of innovatively designed, award-winning Microsoft input devices that help make PC computing easier.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (NASDAQ
) is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing every day.

Microsoft, EasyBall, Windows and MS-DOS are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

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