Microsoft Hardware Advances Ergonomic Leadership With First Natural Ergonomic Mouse

REDMOND, Wash. Sept. 13, 2006 For more than a decade, Microsoft Hardware has led the peripherals industry in ergonomic advancements with its Natural® keyboards and ergonomic mice. Today, in response to the overwhelming success of the Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000 and the growing demand for more comfortable PC tools, Microsoft Hardware is introducing the first Natural mouse, the Microsoft® Natural Wireless Laser Mouse 6000, an extension of the award-winning Natural product line.

The average desktop worker spends approximately six hours each day on a PC.1 Poor wrist and hand posture over time can cause pain and possibly permanent damage. Consumers’ growing desire for comfort is evident in the success of the Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000, which skyrocketed to the No. 1 best-selling wired keyboard in the country.2 The Microsoft Natural Wireless Laser Mouse 6000 is the latest ergonomic innovation developed by Microsoft to cater to evolving ergonomic needs.

“The more time people spend working on computers, the more important it is that their peripherals incorporate good ergonomic design,” said Dan Odell, Ph.D., hardware user researcher and ergonomist at Microsoft. “We’re focused on ensuring that Microsoft Hardware products offer a comfortable working experience. Our goal is to reduce the occurrence and severity of repetitive strain injuries while providing the latest technology for increased productivity and comfort.”

The Microsoft Natural Wireless Laser Mouse 6000 addresses the need for trusted ergonomic peripherals with innovative design from Microsoft’s in-house ergonomists. It includes the following features:

  • An elevated thumb scoop shelf maintains hand rotation to reduce pressure on the carpal tunnel.

  • A rounded shape more closely matches the relaxed curve of the hand to reduce finger extension.

  • An angled profile reduces wrist pronation (turning or rotating).

  • The vertical right side allows the side of the hand to rest comfortably on the desk while improving wrist posture.

  • A rubberized thumb scoop and sides of the mouse provide comfort and easy lifting.

In addition to unprecedented comfort, the Microsoft Natural Wireless Mouse 6000 comes with a host of productivity features, including the new Instant Viewer tool, Magnifier button and four-way scrolling. The ergonomic design and the revolutionary features of this product continue Microsoft’s more than 20-year history of delivering the most comfortable and innovative hardware solutions available.

Introduced in the fall of 2005 and equipped with breakthrough comfort enhancements, the Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000 is part of Microsoft’s Natural product line, which has been associated with a significant reduction of carpal tunnel symptoms.3 The keyboard features a proprietary “gull wing” design with a 14-degree gable that brings the keys closer to users’ fingers. The keyboard also touts an optional palm rest for a 7-degree reversed slope that usability studies found to encourage better arm and wrist alignment.4 A cushioned wrist rest that is 7 millimeters taller than the keyboard places wrists in a less awkward alignment, allowing users to work and play on their computer in a more natural and instinctive position. Additional timesaving features that make the Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000 a top seller include the Zoom Slider, Back and Forward buttons, and My Favorites Hot Keys.

Pricing and Availability

The Microsoft Natural Wireless Laser Mouse 6000 will be available in January 2007 for an estimated retail price of $79.95 (U.S.) and the Natural Ergonomic Keyboard is currently available for $59.95 (U.S.). 5

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. Microsoft IntelliMouse® Explorer, which launched in 1999, earned a place on’s December 2005 list of “The 50 Greatest Gadgets of the Past 50 Years” as the first mainstream optical mouse that “brought gunk-free pointing devices” to a broad consumer base.

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 Sommerich, C., “A Survey of Desktop and Notebook Computer Use by Professionals,” Proc. of HFES, 26th meeting, pp. 1124–1128, 2002.

2 Source: The NPD Group Inc./Point-of-Sale

3 HCI 2003, “The effect of alternative keyboards on musculoskeletal symptoms and disorders”

4 P. Johnson, Ph.D., University of Washington, “ErgoMax ergonomic study” (13 subjects), 2004

5 Actual price may vary.

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

The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

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