Microsoft Reveals Nine New Ways to Get in Touch With the PC

REDMOND, Wash., Sept. 8, 2004 — Microsoft Corp. today unveiled nine mice and keyboards tailored to today’s consumer-computing activities with innovations that set new standards for convenience, comfort, mobility and wireless connectivity. Debuting intuitive and intelligent features — including the company’s first hardware products with fingerprint recognition technology — these new devices deliver easier and more enjoyable ways to access and share information, whether at home or on the go, revolutionizing how people get in touch with their PC every day.

Introducing convenience at your fingertips with Microsoft’s new Fingerprint Reader: Replace passwords and switch users with just the touch of a finger.

Microsoft’s new mice and keyboards deliver unprecedented advantages in the following areas:

  • Convenience. Users can replace passwords with a fingerprint to quickly and easily log in to favorite Web sites and the PC with the new Optical Desktop with Fingerprint Reader, Wireless IntelliMouse® Explorer with Fingerprint Reader, and Microsoft®
    Fingerprint Reader.

  • Mobility. Whether waiting for a flight or working from the deck, the new Wireless Notebook Optical Mouse makes mobile computing a snap with a comfortable design and longer battery life.

  • Comfort. Comfort is key when spending time on the PC and, with the new curved shape of Wireless Optical Desktop, users’ hands can type with ease.

  • Ultimate wireless connectivity. Users can experience new ways to share and access information, wirelessly, with the new Microsoft Optical Desktop Elite for Bluetooth®
    and IntelliMouse Explorer for Bluetooth.

“Our mice and keyboards continually break the hardware mold with intelligent features and groundbreaking designs,” said Tom Gibbons, general manager of the Hardware Group at Microsoft. “No other input-device company has two decades of experience and the in-house expertise necessary to consistently deliver simple yet compelling solutions — such as the tilt wheel and longer battery life last year and the fingerprint reader this year — that directly answer consumer needs and set industry standards by making everyday computing experiences far from ordinary.”

Convenience at One’s Fingertips

Whether users are shopping online, checking e-mail or tracking frequent flier miles, the Internet delivers countless ways to connect with others and access information; however, it also requires countless passwords. To help reduce password fatigue, Microsoft is introducing three new products that conveniently replace user names and passwords with easy-to-use fingerprint recognition technology. Now, a touch of a finger enables people to quickly and easily log on to the PC, switch between users and access favorite online sites.

The fingerprint reader, designed specifically to be intuitive and reliable, is available in three products: Optical Desktop with Fingerprint Reader, Wireless IntelliMouse Explorer with Fingerprint Reader and the stand-alone Microsoft Fingerprint Reader.

“Keeping track of usernames and passwords is a source of real frustration for people,” said Roger Kay, vice president of client computing at IDC. “Although using a combination of methods, including using a strong password, is recommended for retrieving personal and financial information from the Web, a biometric password manager clearly makes opening ordinary password-protected Web pages more convenient.”

Going Mobile

This year, answering the need for more convenient options for computing on the go, Microsoft is introducing its first wireless optical mouse for notebooks with smart portability features. The Wireless Notebook Optical Mouse includes a small receiver that snaps into the bottom of the mouse when not in use, automatically turning off power to conserve battery life. Working up to three feet away from the receiver, which pivots for the best possible reception, this mouse typically delivers more than three months’ battery life on only one battery and smooth tracking on nearly any surface. The compact mouse, available in Slate or Winter Blue, features a symmetrical form with rubber side grips for added comfort.

Curved Comfort and Zoom Control

Microsoft has a 20-year history of taking comfort seriously, with ergonomists on staff and a variety of products designed for comfort, including the first affordable split keyboard in 1994. To also bring flat-keyboard enthusiasts more comfort, Microsoft is debuting Wireless Optical Desktop with a new keyboard design.

Wireless Optical Desktop features a new curved keyboard featuring angled keys that intuitively encourage natural hand and wrist alignment for additional comfort. In fact, Microsoft research found people preferred this new design by a ratio of 3-to-1 over flat keyboards. Also included is Wireless Optical Mouse, a symmetrical mouse that averages more than six months’ battery life as well as Microsoft’s scroll wheel with Tilt Wheel Technology, which was introduced last year as the first mouse with which users can scroll side to side just by tilting the wheel, as well as up and down.

Both the Wireless Optical Desktop and the new Digital Media Pro Keyboard feature a new Zoom Slider that lets users quickly and easily zoom in and out of images and documents, and is tailor-made for people who view and edit digital photos on the PC.

Ultimate in Wireless Connectivity

Building on its commitment to Bluetooth after introducing the first commercially available Bluetooth desktop in 2002, Microsoft is unveiling two new versions of hardware products featuring additional profile support and longer battery life. Using the USB transceiver included with new Optical Desktop Elite for Bluetooth or IntelliMouse Explorer for Bluetooth, people can wirelessly exchange and sync information between their PC and Bluetooth devices — including Windows Mobile (TM) -based Pocket PCs, cell phones, printers, mice and keyboards — from up to 30 feet away. For example, a picture can be taken with a Bluetooth camera phone and transferred to a user’s PC with just the touch of a button — all without wires or cradles. Also, Microsoft is including support for the Personal Area Network User (PANU) profile in Windows®
XP SP2 to help make future Bluetooth experiences easier, more seamless and more accessible.

The new Bluetooth desktop and mouse also feature advanced scrolling capabilities with Tilt Wheel Technology and longer battery life than previous Microsoft Bluetooth products. As well as ridding desks of cables and clutter, these products add sleek style with a deep blue finish and a padded keyboard palm rest featuring the look and feel of leather.

Everyday Affordable

Continuing to offer innovative design combined with reliable performance, Microsoft also introduces Standard Wireless Optical Mouse, its most affordable wireless optical mouse. Featuring enhanced Microsoft Optical Technology for an average of more than six months of battery life and a unique integrated button design that delivers a new way to click, this mouse is available in either a black or white finish. 1

Pricing and Availability

The new products introduced today will be widely available by the end of September 2004 for the following estimated retail prices: 2

  • Optical Desktop Elite for Bluetooth: $159

  • Optical Desktop with Fingerprint Reader: $109

  • Wireless Optical Desktop: $84.95

  • IntelliMouse Explorer for Bluetooth: $84.95

  • Wireless IntelliMouse Explorer with Fingerprint Reader: 3 $84.95

  • Fingerprint Reader: $54.95

  • Wireless Notebook Optical Mouse: $44.95

  • Digital Media Pro Keyboard: $34.95

  • Standard Wireless Optical Mouse: $34.95

About Microsoft Hardware

For more than two decades, 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.

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.

1 Availability varies by country and retailer.

2 Prices are U.S. estimated retail prices. Actual prices may vary.

3 Available in early 2005

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

Bluetooth is a trademark owned by the Bluetooth SIG Inc. and any use of such marks by Microsoft Corp. is 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 Microsoft’s 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 Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at .

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