Microsoft Hardware Celebrates 20 Years of Product Innovation

REDMOND, Wash. May 2, 2003 Where were you in 1983? Ronald Reagan was president; every child wanted a Cabbage Patch doll; the final episode of
“M*A*S*H” aired; compact discs and camcorders were released; and the Microsoft® “green-eyed”
mouse hit store shelves. The mouse marked Microsoft Corp.s entry into the peripherals industry and the beginning of the Hardware Division, formed in 1982 specifically to create a device that would easily navigate the companys new word processing program, Multi-Tool Word.

“Twenty years ago, we introduced the Microsoft Mouse to help people interact with their PC in a more natural way. As computers have become a significant and essential part of everyday life, our vision for hardware has evolved,”
said Bill Gates, chairman and chief software architect at Microsoft.
“Today, were focused on providing innovative, stylish and comfortable hardware that opens up new possibilities for people to have fun and be productive.”

Since 1983, Microsoft Hardware has designed and developed a wide assortment of computer peripherals to fit customer needs, from mice and keyboards to wireless desktops, trackballs and gaming devices. Microsoft Hardware recently unveiled the largest lineup of mice and keyboards in the companys history, as well as a full line of broadband networking products, a new category for Microsoft.

Product features have evolved considerably since the first mouse and now include 27
MHz, 802.11b and Bluetooth® wireless technologies, ergonomic design, the industrys most powerful optical technology and even automotive-grade paint.

Milestones the division has accomplished over the past 20 years include these:

  • 1983. Debut of companys first mouse

  • 1993. The first ergonomic mouse

  • 1994. First affordable and widely available ergonomic keyboard

  • 1995. First computer mouse for children

  • 1996. First mouse scroll wheel integrated with desktop software; debut of companys line of SideWinder® gaming devices

  • 1999. First optical mouse

  • 2001. First keyboard with bimanual control; IntelliMouse® Explorer named Best Input Device by PC World Magazine

  • 2002. First commercially available desktop for Bluetooth; companys first line of broadband networking equipment available to consumers

“Since the introduction of our first mouse in 1983, we have grown and expanded and are proud to offer more than 40 products in four categories,”
said Matt Barlow, director of sales and marketing for the Hardware Division at Microsoft.
“Look to Microsoft Hardware to continue to provide superior products with industry-leading performance, comfort and style.”

An interactive Flash timeline of the past 20 years of Microsoft Hardware product innovation and design can be viewed at .

About Microsoft Hardware

The Microsoft Hardware Division 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 computers.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies 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, SideWinder and IntelliMouse are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

The Bluetooth trademarks are owned by its proprietors and used by Microsoft under license.

The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the 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 on Microsofts corporate information pages. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may since have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsofts Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at .

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