A mouse that changed how people use the internet and was beloved by gamers has been relaunched by Microsoft.
The Classic IntelliMouse contains new technology to make tracking more accurate and still features the scroll wheel button that let people easily move down web pages, changing how users navigated the internet.
It has been released 15 years after the previous model – the Microsoft IntelliMouse Explorer 3.0 – was discontinued. The move led to some fans paying more than double the original retail price to ensure they would have one for years to come, while others stockpiled the product.
“The IntelliMouse 3.0 has its own heritage; it’s loved by our fans and was revolutionary,” said Mark Rowland, Category Lead at Microsoft. “The Classic IntelliMouse is an evolution rather than a revolution. We are bringing back that classic form that people loved, along with improved technology, the exceptional precision, the weight and effective design.
“It’s also a great gaming mouse. I love strategy games such as Age of Empires, but I know some people use the mouse for first-person shooters because you have high levels of sensitivity and the weight is perfect. Plus, it’s wired, so you won’t run out of battery halfway through a game.”
The first IntelliMouse was launched in 1996, with the iconic 3.0 emerging in 2003. That model became an instant hit with gamers, thanks to its ergonomics, sculpted buttons, finger rests, low error rates and sensitivity.
The new Classic IntelliMouse is dark grey and black, and features five buttons (three are customisable), a wired USB connection, vertical scrolling and 1,000 reports per second, while the iconic red tail light has been replaced with a cool white. The latest model also contains BlueTrack technology, so it can be used on glass.
“We improved the tracking sensor and the tactility and feel of the buttons,” said Simon Dearsley, Devices Design Director at Microsoft. “What we know our fans will see and feel is that it’s the exact same shape and size of the IntelliMouse Explorer 3.0. However, underneath the hood it’s all new technology, new mechanical engineering and new structures, so it’s a lot more rigid than the original. The build quality is really excellent.
“We were really careful to keep the same Omron switches for the left and right click and have added three Kailh switches for the middle wheel button and side buttons. We also made a huge improvement to the two side buttons. They now feel snappy and crisp and have just the right force and click to them.
“What many people may not know is the majority of gaming mice in the world are still patterned off the IntelliMouse 3.0. So, we have honoured the original design in the new Classic IntelliMouse and focused on performance updates.”
The Microsoft Classic IntelliMouse can be bought from the Microsoft Store, priced at £39.99.