Microsoft Hardware Brings to Light First Rechargeable Wireless and Backlit Desktop

REDMOND, Wash. — Sept. 13, 2006 —Microsoft Hardware is evolving and transforming the desktop computing experience with the industry’s first wireless rechargeable and backlit desktop, the Wireless Entertainment Desktop 8000, dubbed the “ultimate keyboard” when it was unveiled in June. Today the company is shedding light on this groundbreaking desktop in addition to launching two other new sleek desktops — the Microsoft® Wireless Entertainment Desktop 7000 and the Microsoft Wireless Laser Desktop 6000 — along with its first rechargeable mouse, the Microsoft Wireless Laser Mouse 8000. Whether users are finishing a report at the office or sitting back to watch a movie in comfort at home, the innovative technologies these products harness offer the flexibility to move between work and fun with comfort and ease, and in ultimate style.

“We are pushing the envelope on hardware design to meet the new ways consumers are using their PCs at home and in the office. Keyboards and mice are no longer just about typing and clicking — they are an extension of the individual’s personality,” said Dan O’Neil, industrial designer with Microsoft Hardware. “The Hardware team took both visual and interaction cues from Windows Vista™ to help create this unique product line that keeps up with consumers’ performance expectations, comfort needs and style preferences with better recharging, real metal accents, a symmetrical form language and intelligent backlighting to continue leading industry innovations.”

The Wireless Entertainment Desktop 8000 and the Wireless Entertainment Desktop 7000 are masterful combinations of futuristic industrial design and productivity-enhancing features. These stylish desktops are only an inch thick, yet are filled with deluxe enhancements that allow users to work and play where, when and how they want. Both desktops take advantage of Windows Vista to allow users to easily accomplish everyday tasks, instantly find what they are looking for and enjoy the latest in entertainment. New features that bring key Windows® XP and Windows Vista functionality to users’ fingertips include these:

  • The Windows Start Button offers one-touch access to the Windows Start Menu, with search functionality built in for searching the Internet or the PC.

  • The Gadget Button reveals or hides the personalized information consumers use most, such as weather and sports.

  • The Media Center Start Button allows users to instantly access media, including movies and music.

  • The Windows Live Call Button provides users with the easiest way to start an instant messaging session or a video call — it’s speed dialing for webcams.

Superior Wireless Sets Users Free

The desktops tap into the most innovative wireless technology with 2.4GHz Bluetooth® technology. Featuring First Connect Technology, the desktops will work on PCs right out of the box — there are no setup hassles. For added convenience, the transceiver supports a variety of Bluetooth profiles for connections to multiple Bluetooth devices. Even with multiple wireless connections, users will find virtually no interference as a result of intelligent technology that “hops” when it encounters a trouble spot.

All Work and No Play?

To complement their many exciting productivity features, the Wireless Entertainment Desktops shine when it comes to entertainment. The transition between work and play is effortless with the new keyboards; with up to a 30-foot range and compact design, they are ideal for on- and off-desktop use. For hassle-free entertainment, both desktops feature a navigation pad on the keyboard, which allows users to control the cursor from wherever they are. Users can kick back and relax on the couch and watch a movie or flip through a collection of favorite songs; with the integrated navigation pad, there is no need to get up to find the remote control or mouse.

Backlighting Gets Smart

The Wireless Entertainment Desktop 8000, previewed in June as the “ultimate keyboard,” will take entertainment to the extreme with its smart backlighting features. When users want to kick back, they can simply dim the lights and use the keyboard to control the TV show they just downloaded. The automatic backlighting lets them easily see all the keys without compromising the relaxed atmosphere. With its ambient light sensing, the backlighting is automatically adjusted based on the amount of light in the room. It also features proximity awareness to sense when the user walks away from the keyboard, which prompts it to turn off to conserve battery life and turn back on when the user returns.

Recharging Redefined

The Wireless Entertainment Desktop 8000 is also the first rechargeable keyboard that will allow users to power both the mouse and keyboard in one easy-to-use charging station and remain fully functioning while charging. The keyboard slides under the horizontal charging station and the mouse rests on top, providing a space-saving and sturdy recharging solution. Microsoft designed the horizontal docking station based on internal research showing that users preferred that design to current vertical charging offerings.1 To enable extra convenience and enhance the entertainment features, the docking station is equipped with three available Universal Serial Bus (USB) 2.0 ports for devices such as digital cameras, MP3 players and Microsoft LifeCams.

Paired with the new Wireless Entertainment Desktop keyboards is Microsoft’s first rechargeable mouse, the Wireless Laser Mouse 8000. The new mouse is the ultimate in sophistication, introducing a chic design with metal accents. It charges on the horizontal charging station, providing a sturdy base for mouse recharging and a blinking light for charge confirmation. The Wireless Laser Mouse 8000 delivers the ultimate Bluetooth experience and incorporates several new standout features:

  • Performance Slider. Users can optimize performance for intense PC tasks or lower it to extend battery life.

  • Instant Viewer. One-click access enables users to view all open windows and applications at once.

  • Quick charging. The mouse fully recharges in less than 90 minutes.

  • Faster than wired. Users will experience virtually no latency.

The Wireless Laser Mouse 8000 also includes Microsoft’s proprietary High Definition Laser Technology and five customizable buttons, including the Magnifier and Tilt Wheel.

Performance and Comfort in a Sleek Design

Rounding out the new sleek desktops is the Wireless Laser Desktop 6000, the perfect combination of sophistication and efficiency. The desktop is also only an inch thick and includes many of the performance elements of the Entertainment line, including the Windows Start Button and Gadget Button. It features Microsoft’s Comfort Curve Keyboard design with a cushioned palm rest that encourages natural hand and wrist positioning, an easy-to-use layout for enhanced comfort and productivity, and an optional 5-degree reverse slope in addition to the standard 0-degree and positive tilts.

The included Wireless Laser Mouse 6000 features Microsoft’s High Definition Laser Technology, which delivers more responsiveness, more precision and smoother tracking, even on uneven surfaces, as well as the new Instant Viewer, Magnifier and Tilt Wheel tools.

Pricing and Availability

The new Microsoft products introduced today will be available for the following estimated retail prices:2

  • Wireless Entertainment Desktop 8000: $249.95 (U.S.), available February 2007

  • Wireless Entertainment Desktop 7000: $149.95 (U.S.), available January 2007

  • Wireless Laser Desktop 6000: $99.95 (U.S.), available September 2006

  • Wireless Laser Mouse 8000: $89.95 (U.S.), available October 2006

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 was 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.

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