New Desktop Devices Designed to Reflect Personal Style

REDMOND, Wash., Sept. 3, 2002 — Tiny cell phones with built-in digital cameras and removable metallic faceplates. Pocket-sized PCs in different shapes and sizes. Wireless headsets and iridescent MP3 players. Technology devices have become everyday companions for many people, and these devices have grown increasingly stylish as well as functional.

“Now more than ever, consumers are treating our products as less of a luxury and more of a necessity,”
says Gary Shapiro, president of the Consumer Electronics Association.
“The need to stay connected with friends, family and co-workers is crucial to managing our active lives.”

With a growing number of technology users, hardware creators at Microsoft are introducing various designs of computer devices to meet the wide variety of personal preferences consumers have today.

“People are using their mouse and keyboard more and more each day, and in turn are viewing these devices as an extension of their personality,”
says Matt Barlow, group product manager for Microsoft Hardware.
“They are asking for these products — like cell phones and PDAs — to reflect who they are. We are happy to be a foremost provider of diverse computer peripherals for a variety of technology consumers.”

Through research with hundreds of computer hardware users worldwide, Microsoft identified three distinct computing personalities:

  • “Fun”
    consumers who often use technology for entertainment and communication;

  • “Sophisticated”
    users who prefer innovative technologies and upscale finishes; and

  • “Serious”
    consumers who choose technology for more practical reasons.

With peoples unique lifestyles in mind, Microsoft Hardware today unveiled the largest line of mice and keyboards in the company history. These new peripheral devices are tailored to meet distinctive preferences and expectations of customers for performance, comfort and style.

“Our newest lineup of seven unique mouse and keyboard products are specifically designed to mirror a diverse range of consumer personalities and attitudes toward technology,”
says Barlow.

Vibrant Designs for Fun Users

Optical Mouse Blue

Carrie Rowe, a 22-year-old medical student from Oklahoma City, listens to an *NSync MP3 as she previews a dissection from a biology class on a Web site from her bedroom. Despite the stomach-turning scene in front of her, she sits comfortably in her lime green mohair chair, which perfectly matches the scarves draped as curtains against her dark blue walls.

“I only buy things for my computer that are high tech and go with my room, things that have style,”
Rowe says. As she talks, one of her classmates pops up on MSN Instant Messenger — a popular form of communication in Carries circle of friends — to ask for help on homework. Carrie quickly taps out a response on her ergonomic keyboard before downloading her Outlook calendar into her PDA and grabbing her blue-faced cell phone on the way to a class.

“I like my devices to fit my lifestyle,”
she says,
“and I dont want to use the same boring beige mouse and keyboard as my parents.”

Microsoft designed its
collection of peripherals for people like Rowe who use technology mainly for relaxation or communication, and who prefer vibrant colors and designs. The
collection introduces a new line of keyboards and mice wrapped in unique Astral Blue and silver-metallic accents. Optical Mouse Blue and Wireless Optical Mouse Blue feature a wider, translucent mouse scroll wheel that provides easier navigation of Web pages and play lists, as well as trusted Microsoft Optical Technology and a comfortable, ambidextrous design.

Natural MultiMedia Keyboard

Microsoft also offers MultiMedia Keyboard and Natural MultiMedia Keyboard, which include an array of features designed with the fun user in mind. Both provide a multimedia center for easy control of MP3s and online videos — including Hot Keys to stop, forward, play and pause. Additional Hot Keys control Messenger and e-mail to deliver quick, one-touch access to peoples favorite forms of online communication.

“I always have so much stuff going on at once that I want my keyboard to simplify things,”
says Rowe.
“I think its great that Microsoft is making it possible for people like me to control my favorite applications with just one push of a button.”

MultiMedia Keyboard

Sophisticated Users Enjoy Advanced Tools in Upscale Designs

Dave Riendeau, a 45-year-old production engineering manager at Intel Corp. in Hillsboro, Ore., only listens to *NSync when his 13-year-old daughter takes control of the CD player.

The rest of the time, Dave strongly prefers smooth jazz. While he leaves decorating the house to his wife and daughter, Daves work area is his domain, and it reveals his inclination toward high-tech sophistication. Shades of gray cover the walls, carpet, chair and desk area, which is decked with the latest desktop peripherals and docking ports for his PC Notebook, Pocket PC and Motorola V-series cell phone.

Wireless Optical Mouse Blue

“I buy new technologies that are innovative, that improve my productivity and look cool,”
says Riendeau, a self-proclaimed gadget guy.
“Of course, they also have to impress my co-workers, which is not easy to do.”

Wireless Optical Desktop

For Riendeau and other users who are interested in superior technology and upscale finishes, Microsoft now offers two complete desktop solutions: Wireless Optical Desktop and Wireless Optical Desktop Pro, which provide precise optical control in
wireless designs.

“Im attracted to wireless devices because they eliminate the clutter I used to have on my desk from running all my peripherals,”
he says.
“I hate getting all tangled up in cables.”
Riendeau thinks wireless technology is really cool, particularly if it looks great, too. ” I already loved my IntelliMouse Explorer,”
says Riendeau,
“so a completely wireless desktop that looks so elite is much cooler.”

Wireless Optical Desktop Pro

He now participates in Web meetings and creates presentations from his charcoal executive chair — even up to six feet away — with the new black-and-titanium wireless peripherals from Microsoft. With the one-touch multimedia center and Hot Keys on the wireless ergonomic keyboard, he can also listen to jazz and e-mail his wife while he works or plays.

Notebook Optical Mouse

Along with working from the office and at home, Dave brings his PC notebook on his frequent business travels. However, comfort doesnt always accompany him.
“My hands always cramp up when I use the toggle mouse on my notebook for too long,”
he says.

Microsoft is bringing relief to traveling professionals like Dave in the form of its new Notebook Optical Mouse, which combines small size and easy mobility with ergonomic comfort and precise optical technology.
“Notebook Optical Mouse is so small yet so comfortable, I wont have to bother with that annoying toggle mouse,”
Dave says,
“and with its optical technology, I can use it on anything.”

Practical Tools for Serious Users

Irmgard McCarthy, 56, of Olympia, Wash., works full time at a small wood-products manufacturing company and feeds her grown children a hearty German meal on Sundays. While she prefers to be outdoors on one of her favorite hiking trails or shopping at garden centers, Irmgard accepts the necessity of planting herself at the office five days a week for data entry. Since she works primarily in Microsoft Excel, Irmgard says she rarely uses her mouse.
“Im basically a keyboard person because I use the F-key combinations all the time, although sometimes I get them mixed up”
she says
“I like things that are easy to use, and quick function is important to me.”

McCarthy favors technology that is practical rather than advanced or stylish.
“When I want a certain item with a certain feature, I am willing to buy a new technology product,”
she says.
“I will buy something for function, ease of use and quality first.”

Serious users such as Irmgard should appreciate the re-release of Microsoft desktop favorites with updated appearances and productivity-boosting features. Each product retains its dynamic attributes — such as Office Keyboards innovative Single Touch Pad and IntelliMouse Opticals precise technology and ambidextrous design — but adds fresh looks that include brighter whites, bolder titanium and new fonts on the keyboard layout.

Irmgard says she loves the idea of simplified F-Keys and easy one-touch Hot Keys that will make her limited computer use less stressful, as well as the additional buttons on the IntelliMouse Optical that she can program to print and save documents.

“The mouse is so easy to use,”
she says,
“I may not be just a keyboard person anymore.”

Microsoft’s Barlow notes that the newly launched mice and keyboards give consumers more options for creating desktops that are as diverse as their users.
“We know that not everyone is using their computer for the same purpose, and we also see the many different ways that people interact with their computing devices,”
he says.

As far as desktops go, its not one-size-fits-all anymore.

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