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Microsoft Releases Batch of Windows 8 Input Devices

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the mouse-doubles-as-doorstop dept.

Input Devices 156

jones_supa writes "To accompany Windows 8, Microsoft has released some interesting keyboard and mouse devices, all of which are wireless and use Bluetooth. The Wedge Touch Mouse is an artful product shaped as an angular wedge, being compact enough for travel too. Wedge Mobile Keyboard follows the style of laptop keyboards and includes a snap-on cover. Sculpt Touch Mouse is more like a classic mouse, but features a four-way touch-scroll strip. Finally, we have Sculpt Mobile Keyboard, which is a lighter version of a classic curved keyboard. All four are on the expensive side, but at first blush seem high-quality."

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First (-1, Offtopic)

TankSpanker04 (1266400) | more than 2 years ago | (#40829465)

why not?

Re:First (5, Informative)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 2 years ago | (#40829573)

No, no, no. This [wikimedia.org] was first.

Best input device ever... (0)

Thundaaa Struk (1375331) | more than 2 years ago | (#40829485)

The telephone....man I got so much output from that thing in my heydays.

why no wires? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40829521)

wireless needs batteries and can be issues in a big office full of them.

Re:why no wires? (5, Funny)

Kenja (541830) | more than 2 years ago | (#40829561)

wireless needs batteries and can be issues in a big office full of them.

Not to worry, no one in a big office will be using Windows 8.

Re:why no wires? (1)

TankSpanker04 (1266400) | more than 2 years ago | (#40829623)

wireless needs batteries and can be issues in a big office full of them.

Because all bluetooth means these will work with tablets and desktops alike, just like Win8.

Re:why no wires? (2)

Grave (8234) | more than 2 years ago | (#40829625)

If done right, a pair of AA batteries will last in a wireless keyboard/mouse for nearly a year, so it's not as dramatic an issue as you might think. I still can't see many offices using these by default, but no doubt consumers will like them.

Re:why no wires? (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40829707)

Not in bluetooth devices.

I've had and used a microsoft wireless mouse with bluetooth, I had to change the batteries every 3 weeks. After a few months, I got rid of it, because the upkeep was simply too high.

Release a version that runs on diesel, and then I might consider it.

Re:why no wires? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40829739)

+1.

Wireless lasts okay, Bluetooth eats two batteries a month.

Re:why no wires? (1)

jerk (38494) | more than 2 years ago | (#40830053)

Maybe not in your bluetooth devices, but my bluetooth keyboard has close to 6 months on 3 AA batteries (newer models of this keyboard use only 2 AAs) and it's at 43%. After two months, my trackpad is at 77%. This is on my "workstation", so it sees a lot of use 5 days a week, at least 8 hours per day (not a solid 8 hours, of course.)

Re:why no wires? (1)

Reece400 (584378) | more than 2 years ago | (#40830177)

We have a lot of Bluetooth mice here, the Logitech and Dell (made by Logitech) last 3-4 months on average, whereas the Microsoft ones barely make it one month.

Re:why no wires? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40830565)

You were probably using regular Bluetooth instead of the relatively new Bluetooth Low Energy standard.

Re:why no wires? (3, Interesting)

somersault (912633) | more than 2 years ago | (#40829711)

Logitech also do a nice solar powered keyboard. My desk doesn't get any direct sunlight, and often I leave the lights off, but it always has plenty of charge. The batteries will apparently last 3 months even in complete darkness.

Now somebody needs to make some decent solar powered trackballs or trackpads and I'll be cable and battery free :)

Re:why no wires? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40829877)

Logitech also do a nice solar powered keyboard. My desk doesn't get any direct sunlight, and often I leave the lights off, but it always has plenty of charge. The batteries will apparently last 3 months even in complete darkness.

Now somebody needs to make some decent solar powered trackballs or trackpads and I'll be cable and battery free :)

You're probably effectively recycling the energy from light of your LCDs,

Re:why no wires? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40829975)

Logitech also do a nice solar powered keyboard.

It seems someone forgot to tell them that geeks and sunlight don't mix!

Re:why no wires? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40831329)

Link to said product? I want one.

Wedge (Puck) Mouse (5, Insightful)

wazzzup (172351) | more than 2 years ago | (#40829547)

It looks like Microsoft is taking a page from Apple and emphasizing design now - along with the warts that go with it. I've never used the wedge mouse but instinct tells me that using one will invoke carpal tunnel induced rage like Apple's Bondi iMac puck mouse and clit-scroll Mighty Mouse.

Re:Wedge (Puck) Mouse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40829653)

It looks like Microsoft is copypasting Apple's design...

Like good old Jimi would say, "Hear my lawyer a comin'"...

Re:Wedge (Puck) Mouse (1, Insightful)

preaction (1526109) | more than 2 years ago | (#40829683)

Which is sad, because Microsoft had made the best mice in recent years. I can only hope they realize that they DON'T have to be Apple to succeed in the marketplace.

Re:Wedge (Puck) Mouse (2)

Jaysyn (203771) | more than 2 years ago | (#40830011)

Which is sad, because Microsoft had made the best mice in recent years.

Compared to who?

Re:Wedge (Puck) Mouse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40830879)

I'm assuming by "best" he implied everyone. That's the only use of the term best i understand anyway.

I'd disagree with him, but still pretty good, solid mice.

Re:Wedge (Puck) Mouse (0)

pigiron (104729) | more than 2 years ago | (#40829733)

M$ has been chasing Apple design-wise for decades.

Re:Wedge (Puck) Mouse (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40829745)

Indeed, ever since the GUI. The popular saying goes, "Microsoft's R&D lab is... Apple."

Re:Wedge (Puck) Mouse (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40829797)

The GUI which Apple knicked from the Xerox PARC lab.

Jesus, do we really have to rehash this yet again?

Re:Wedge (Puck) Mouse (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40829871)

so what the fuck is your point? microsoft has never, will never and can never innovate shit because they are a shitty company staffed by shitty people.

Re:Wedge (Puck) Mouse (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40829923)

The point is Apple fanbois such as yourself can't handle having Apple called out as being a thief just like Microsoft.

Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

Re:Wedge (Puck) Mouse (1)

pigiron (104729) | more than 2 years ago | (#40830871)

Watch M$ stock tank with the failure of its tablet and Windoze 8.

Re:Wedge (Puck) Mouse (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40830695)

The GUI which Apple knicked from the Xerox PARC lab.

Jesus, do we really have to rehash this yet again?

Apple paid Xerox for access to PARC. I guess we really do have to re-hash this every time.

Re:Wedge (Puck) Mouse (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40829955)

I don't really want to use any kind of mouse other than vertical mice ever again.
I got one at home, and I'm considering buying my own to take in to work.

Doesn't look super stylish (although it does look funky because it's so unlike other mice), but it's just super comfortable.

Re:Wedge (Puck) Mouse (1)

SolitaryMan (538416) | more than 2 years ago | (#40830311)

I actually find this guy [amazon.com] to be more comfortable than vertical mouse, because besides the hand being in a natural position, you don't have to move it. With the vertical mouse (at least the one I have -- Evoluent) I find it kind of hard to grab when you need to lift it and also I often hit the "back" button on it, when trying to reach for it without looking (i.e. it is too tall).

Re:Wedge (Puck) Mouse (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 2 years ago | (#40831401)

+1 for trackballs. They are better than any mouse. Once you get used to them, you'll never go back. A trackball is always in the right position. You never have to reach for it, and you never have to put your arm in weird positions to use it, because it stays in the same place. Sadly, it's getting harder and harder to find them these days. You can pretty much only order them online, and they cost way more than they should given their simplicity.

Re:Wedge (Puck) Mouse (1)

Sable Drakon (831800) | more than 2 years ago | (#40831737)

For general purpose usage, you're right. Even for graphic design, you're right. But a trackball pales in comparison to a mouse when you're a PC gamer.

Re:Wedge (Puck) Mouse (2)

SolitaryMan (538416) | more than 2 years ago | (#40830191)

Microsoft was always good at input devices. Microsoft Natural keyboard is the one I instantly fell in love with and use it ever since. I also have some trackball from them. Don't remember the model and won't bother to look for the picture, but it is very comfortable.

Apple's keyboard only looks nice. Pretty crappy when you actually try to use it (when compared to MS's).

Re:Wedge (Puck) Mouse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40830671)

I used an MS natural keyboard for years at work, but couldn't justify the 80 or so bucks they wanted for it so I could have one at home.

I have to disagree about the Apple keyboard though. Coming from the standard Dell desktop keyboard, the Apple is a dream.

Re:Wedge (Puck) Mouse (2)

Gadget_Guy (627405) | more than 2 years ago | (#40830199)

Go do an image search for Microsoft Mouse [google.com] and tell us that they are only just started thinking about design now.

Go on, keep scrolling the images. It is actually kind of hypnotic seeing all the shapes and colours scrolling by. It would be super freaky to do this if you were high on drugs!

Re:Wedge (Puck) Mouse (1)

raydobbs (99133) | more than 2 years ago | (#40831479)

..you mean...like the way Windows engineers designed Windows 8?

Re:Wedge (Puck) Mouse (3, Insightful)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 2 years ago | (#40830245)

It looks like Microsoft is taking a page from Apple and emphasizing design now - along with the warts that go with it. I've never used the wedge mouse but instinct tells me that using one will invoke carpal tunnel induced rage like Apple's Bondi iMac puck mouse and clit-scroll Mighty Mouse.

Generally speaking, Apple mice are among the worst, and always have been since the original Mac. Mice, though. Their trackballs tended to be quite nice at least on the powerbooks way back when). Their touchpads have gotten way better in the last few years (acreage... I don't understand where PC manufacturers get their awful smaller-than-the-original-ipod-screen touchpads from that you can barely fit your finger on).

But Apple mice? Generally crap.

Re:Wedge (Puck) Mouse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40830961)

Their touchpads have gotten way better in the last few years (acreage... I don't understand where PC manufacturers get their awful smaller-than-the-original-ipod-screen touchpads from that you can barely fit your finger on).

I would buy a Macbook over the equivalent but less expensive PC laptop for this exact reason. Apple touchpads are the best on the market bar none.

Re: Mighty Mouse (1)

djbckr (673156) | more than 2 years ago | (#40830441)

I have the Mighty Mouse and it's my favorite out of probably a dozen I've tried. Apple quit making it in favor of the Magic Mouse, which I hate. I know people have had issues with the Mighty Mouse ball getting stuck, and from time to time mine gets stuck. However, a good soaking in 90% alcohol and a stiff fabric (I use a piece of denim on a wood surface, invert the mouse and rub the ball vigorously) and all is right with the world. A little compressed air gets whatever is left. I even bought a spare in case the one I'm using quits working for good. The one I'm using has been in service for a good 5 years so far...

I don't get it. (2)

Guano_Jim (157555) | more than 2 years ago | (#40829579)

From TFA:

I wouldn't use the Wedge Touch Mouse for extended, serious work because of its small size, but it seemed to work well for basic tablet navigation.

Isn't one of the selling points of a tablet that one doesn't need to use a mouse with it? Who is this targeting?

Re:I don't get it. (2)

Mia'cova (691309) | more than 2 years ago | (#40829723)

Mobile users who don't need to use a mouse for extended periods of time. But if you wanted to pick one golden scenario, it would be 'perfect' for on-the-go users of office on a win8 tablet, which is still mostly a desktop-based experience.

Re:I don't get it. (1)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | more than 2 years ago | (#40829759)

If you use your tablet as a screen together with a keyboard, you will want a mouse as well (or perhaps a separate touch tablet). Having to reach over your keyboard for any mousey action (moving the cursor, menus, etc) gets tiring real soon. I found the same when I tried typing for an extended period of time on an iPad + bluetooth keyboard.

Then again, your question is a good one in light of the remark from the article. That mouse looks insanely ill-suited for extended work, and if you're only using the tablet for short periods of time, the touch screen and virtual leyboard should work well enough.

Re:I don't get it. (2)

CohibaVancouver (864662) | more than 2 years ago | (#40829977)

Who is this targeting?

People like me - I travel regularly for business. At airports and on planes I would use the device in tablet-style. When I get to my hotel room, I'd set the device up on my desk and use it with a mouse and keyboard.

Re:I don't get it. (3, Interesting)

tsa (15680) | more than 2 years ago | (#40830207)

So basically you need a laptop.

Re:I don't get it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40831259)

If you're important enough to do that much traveling then you can afford a real laptop and a real tablet. Why piss around with a Windows tablet that has shit for an ecosystem and a half-ass tab-vertible 10 inch glorified netbook for mouse and keyboard sessions when you can just get the real thing? Macbook Air and an iPad would stomp these Windows toys in the ground.

Does anyone use these tiny mouses? (1)

hobarrera (2008506) | more than 2 years ago | (#40829613)

Does anyone use these tiny mouses?
I don't know A SINGLE person who actually uses these mini-mouses, and ultraportable tiny mouses, etc.

As a matter of fact, I own a Logitech Performance MX [flickr.com] , which is quite huge actually, and don't have any issue carrying it around. Especially since the laptop is the actual bulky thing. I've also noticed most people that try it seem to prefer to actually have something large and comfortable, since it's only ~150g vs the ~2kg that a laptop can weight.

What's the point of saving space and weight in a mouse, when you can't even save 10% of what the laptop weight. Not to mention the charger. Especially since the price you pay (in comfort) by using a small mouse is really really high.

Re:Does anyone use these tiny mouses? (1)

MikeS2k (589190) | more than 2 years ago | (#40829633)

Those tiny mice are quite popular where I work, but then I do work in a school where most of the users have tiny hands :p
Probably the only real use for them.
I prefer a larger mouse even though I have small hands myself.

Re:Does anyone use these tiny mouses? (2)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 2 years ago | (#40829949)

even though I have small hands myself.

Not something I would admit to, there buddy. :)

Re:Does anyone use these tiny mouses? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40829641)

Tiny cats.

Re:Does anyone use these tiny mouses? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40829645)

My dad uses one of those tiny mice with his laptop. He apparently can't stand either the touchpad or the trackpoint, and when I gave him a normal sized mouse he complained that it was too big and uncomfortable. So, I guess some people do just prefer them.

Re:Does anyone use these tiny mouses? (1)

Simon Brooke (45012) | more than 2 years ago | (#40829705)

Does anyone use these tiny mouses?
I don't know A SINGLE person who actually uses these mini-mouses, and ultraportable tiny mouses, etc.

As a matter of fact, I own a Logitech Performance MX [flickr.com] , which is quite huge actually, and don't have any issue carrying it around. Especially since the laptop is the actual bulky thing. I've also noticed most people that try it seem to prefer to actually have something large and comfortable, since it's only ~150g vs the ~2kg that a laptop can weight.

What's the point of saving space and weight in a mouse, when you can't even save 10% of what the laptop weight. Not to mention the charger. Especially since the price you pay (in comfort) by using a small mouse is really really high.

Yes, I do. I currently use a Dell bluetooth travel mouse, as my main mouse. I do also have a full-size Logitech cordless mouse (similar to yours) but it's on a computer I use less often. The 'travel mouse' isn't 'for a laptop', it's just a mouse I really like. I find it comfortable and easy to use. Small mice also mean more desk space to fill with clutter.

As an aside, I started using mice on Xerox workstations back in 1985, and they were pretty small by modern standards. The original Mac mouse was also quite small.

Re:Does anyone use these tiny mouses? (1)

Gadget_Guy (627405) | more than 2 years ago | (#40830631)

I have used a tiny mouse for years. My current one is a Logitech M185 [images-amazon.com] which is huge in comparison to my previous ones. It is 117g, but for me a 1.1kg notebook is at the upper limit of weight (my lightest was about 700g) so it is still one tenth the weight of my computer.

To be honest, it is not so much the weight of the mouse that interests me, but just being able to fit it in my backpack. A standard size mouse seems a lot larger when crammed it into a fairly full bag than it does sitting on a desk.

Microsoft make good hardware (3, Informative)

Simon Brooke (45012) | more than 2 years ago | (#40829649)

Microsoft should reinvent themselves as a hardware house. A lot of their hardware is very good; I've never regretted any of the Microsoft mice I've bought.

It's a shame their software is (generally) so rubbish.

Re:Microsoft make good hardware (1)

harrkev (623093) | more than 2 years ago | (#40829889)

Meh. I got a Mobile Wireless Mouse 4000 a couple of years ago. Complete garbage due to the "nano" receiver. It burned out, and the receiver was too hot to even touch. I got a warranty replacement, and it suffered the same fate after a couple of months. Into the trash it went, and I now use a Logitech M305, which has been rock solid.

It is a shame, too. I rather liked the design, since the receiver snapped into the bottom (no need to remove the battery cover like you do with most of the Logitech mice).

I do suspect that Microsoft has fixed this bug by now, but it is too late for me. To make a nano-receiver that doubles as a space heater is sloppy design. I suspect that they also learned this lesson on the early models of the X-Box 360 too.

Re:Microsoft make good hardware (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40830725)

I have the same mouse and never had the problem you describe. Neither has anyone I've known.

Re:Microsoft make good hardware (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40831297)

Let me help [microsoft.com] you with that. If you're going to shill then at least give us something that isn't so easily debunked.

Re:Microsoft make good hardware (1)

jones_supa (887896) | more than 2 years ago | (#40830989)

Into the trash it went, and I now use a Logitech M305, which has been rock solid.

I also have Logitech M305. Very good basic mouse.

By the way, Logitech is a Swiss company. I recently checked the bottom of an optical USB version of the Pilot Wheel Mouse from 2004, and it's made in Hungary. But I suppose the newer stuff all comes from P.R.C.

Re:Microsoft make good hardware (1)

Mashiki (184564) | more than 2 years ago | (#40829943)

I'll take Logitech over MS any day of the week, especially considering the differences in warranty policies. Heck, even Logitech pays both ways for shipping. That is if they even want the product back at all for warranty.

Re:Microsoft make good hardware (5, Interesting)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 2 years ago | (#40830075)

I'll take Logitech over MS any day of the week, especially considering the differences in warranty policies. Heck, even Logitech pays both ways for shipping. That is if they even want the product back at all for warranty.

I can't speak for Logitech's warranty policies, but I've had to deal with MS once. I had one of the first laser mice (ball less?) that broke on me. I remember it came with a 5-year warranty. I called MS's support and the girl asked me when I purchased the mouse. I told her I wasn't sure, but it came with a 5 yr warranty and that type of mouse had not existed for 5 years. She laughed, took my address and sent me a brand new mouse. No questions asked. No sending my old mouse back. No receipt. No registration (who registers a mouse?). Nothing. Just here's your mouse. Thanks for playing... Love Microsoft.

Re:Microsoft make good hardware (1)

Mashiki (184564) | more than 2 years ago | (#40831005)

I just did a warranty claim with Logitech. My x-540's were dying a slow painful death, channels dropping out. They sent me a new pair of the z-906's, covered shipping both ways. That's a hell of an upgrade in my book for warranty replacement, from $90 to $300 replacements. The first warranty I had for a mouse, one of their very first laser jobs they had me send back, to the US. Though, Logitech has sent me a replacement mouse without a problem every time I've needed a new one without a problem.

Re:Microsoft make good hardware (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40831037)

I bought Microsoft's fingerprint scanner years ago way back during CompUSA's fire sale for about $5 or so. It was neat, used it occasionally on my HTPC.

Fast forward to last year, I upgraded to Windows 7 64-bit. MS doesn't make a driver for the scanner for 64-bit. In fact, real support ended around Vista 32-bit. I read up on what people were doing to perhaps get it working again, and found that some people were getting refunds on it. So I did that. Called up MS support, told them the issue, read them the product ID on the scanner, and a week or so later, I got my check for $40. And I still have that fingerprint scanner that I can hook up to any 32-bit Windows (with a working/hacked driver).

Re:Microsoft make good hardware (1)

Mashiki (184564) | more than 2 years ago | (#40831465)

Now that's actually pretty good. Too bad cannon won't do that.

Re:Microsoft make good hardware (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 2 years ago | (#40830633)

That is if they even want the product back at all for warranty.

It just means the company knows how much it costs to process a warranty claim.

I had the same from Logitech - they sent me a brand new mouse after my existing one quit working - even in the new packaging.

I figure it's because when they bother doing an RMA and shipping back and forth, plus paying guys to process RMAs, it would cost them more in the end than just shipping out the replacement alone.

After all, a mouse is a relatively low-value item and doing a warranty replacement would probably just cost more money in the end than whatever fraud could occur (want another mouse? Call in yours as defective and get a free new one).

Re:Microsoft make good hardware (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40831003)

I typically lease systems for my offices so I end up seeing a lot of the different OEM mice. The MS Optical Wheel Mouse is still the best mouse I have ever used.

On an unrelated note, WTF Dell??!! The last batch of desktops I leased came with this nearly unusable laptop style keyboards and ridiculous mice.Every single person in my office complained about the keyboards. If I wanted to type on a laptop I would type on a laptop. I mean, it seems like Dell has been slowly making their peripherals crappier and crappier every year. I still have this Dell KB with the silver volume control knob that I have kept through all of my lease turnovers.

Re:Microsoft make good hardware (1)

phorm (591458) | more than 2 years ago | (#40831051)

Do they make their own hardware? I thought it was just rebranded stuff from other manufacturers?
Most of what I've had in terms of Microsoft-branded hardware has been good. Typing on an "MS Natural" keyboard right now, which I've always appreciated.
I did find that some of their early wireless mice sucked though (IIRC, the "Microsoft Wireless Optical Mouse Blue"), but I believe they've improved with age.

Microsoft will be huge. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40829661)

What MS is doing lately is astounding and very inspiring to me. They are matching every product prediction I have expected for them based solely on reading a number of their patent filings, and they are matching these predictions in a timeline that fits nicely with optimal market visibility. My final prediction is that Microsoft strongly desires to "brand" MS based mobile devices in the same way Apple and Google have done, that is, they strongly want their name to represent the type of product behind the name (to this day people still say "Android phone" rather than say, HTC or Samsung phone). MS has no core competency in the mobile area so they are absorbing the risk costs of the venture by issuing the first round of MS branded devices on their very own. Since their products will ultimately prove successful, in the end what this does is to encourage capable OEM's to arrange licensing terms with confidence upon seeing MS products have proven history. The fact that RT (arm) device will come a quarter before the x86 based mobile, should be evidence enough to anyone that MS really is seeking to demonstrate the viability of their concept for OEMs down the line. The fact that x86 mobile will run native code should be evidence enough that MS is geared toward maintaining its legacy with PC style computing. It looks really like MS will be the company to put "computing" behind mobile.

Re:Microsoft will be huge. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40829755)

You could at least try to sound like a person.

Re:Microsoft will be huge. (1)

zlives (2009072) | more than 2 years ago | (#40829817)

I miss borg gates

No, Thanks (0)

denmarkw00t (892627) | more than 2 years ago | (#40829669)

M$ is really trying hard, and I'll give them that. While the "Wedge Touch Mouse" is an interesting idea, that's where I want to leave it. Just like Apple's Mighty/Magic mice, it doesn't look comfortable and lacks any decent usability - just from the looks of it. My Logitech MX does great, travels just fine, and has a scroll wheel (yay!). The other mouse looks like the HP and Logitech "entry-level" types, of course it has that neat 4-way touch area that looks about as wide as my pinky finger, so, you know, touch left and right at nice small increments. Finally, the keyboard, well, it's curved. Neat.

Nothing to see here other than M$ jumping further into hardware, which kind of reminds me of the old days of them doing the same thing with their wave keyboards and all that fun stuff that never really made a difference, overall, for the company. But keep on trying to "out innovate" Apple with all your shiny new...things.

Re:No, Thanks (1)

BradleyUffner (103496) | more than 2 years ago | (#40830573)

M$ is really trying hard, and I'll give them that.

So is the Special Needs guy who cleans the tables at my local Burger King, but that doesn't mean the deep fryer he made out of plastic grocery bags is a good idea.

At the mercy of the designer and the consumer. (5, Insightful)

pointyhat (2649443) | more than 2 years ago | (#40829715)

We appear to be entering the age where we are the mercy of the designer and the consumer.

Every "innovation" is now in the design space and is simply about establishing a brand and adding a layer of turd polish rather than solving problems or increasing efficiency.

Look at Metro, look at Windows Phone, look at these input devices, look at everything Apple has done for the last 10 years, look at everything.

It still takes us 3 months to knock out a simple bit of software, stuff still needs endless updates, problems haven't got any simpler to solve, nothing connects or works with other things properly without arguing with endless layers of configuration. Computing has become the activity, not the saviour of our time which is supposed to deliver us from mind numbing repetitiveness. We've gone nowhere.

Real technical innovation is dead. RIP.

Re:At the mercy of the designer and the consumer. (3, Informative)

JBMcB (73720) | more than 2 years ago | (#40830237)

It still takes us 3 months to knock out a simple bit of software, stuff still needs endless updates, problems haven't got any simpler to solve, nothing connects or works with other things properly without arguing with endless layers of configuration. Computing has become the activity, not the saviour of our time which is supposed to deliver us from mind numbing repetitiveness.

You clearly weren't alive in the 70's or 80's, when nothing talked to anything else and nothing was easy. It would be an amazing feat to get a database to import data from a spreadsheet on the same machine. CSV was the best you could hope for, and you'd loose all your metadata. And networking two different machines together? Good luck with that. Maybe with a serial cable and some Kermit scripts, you *might* get text files to transfer if you were lucky. Unless you had a few thousand dollars for a nice DECNet or Banyan system, of course. Want wireless data access? RTTY baby! A few suitcases full of equipment and batteries and you could open a Mainframe session at 50 baud.

Now, two people can be nearly anywhere in the world and send any type of data they want to each other instantaneously using devices that fit in their shirt pocket, for the price of a few bucks a day.

As Louis CK once said, everything is amazing and nobody is happy.

Re:At the mercy of the designer and the consumer. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40830301)

Really!? When was the last time you edited your CONFIG.SYS or AUTOEXEC.BAT file? Or hunted down video card drivers from the manufacturer's website? When did you last have to run a game with some special launch/emulation settings?

I can throw together an HD video slideshow in less than five minutes and have it up on YouTube in less than 10, then share it with whatever circle/list of friends I have via social networking in two clicks.

I can create a blog website complete with a semi-custom theme, AdSense revenue generation, and start posting to it via my mobile phone or Microsoft Word all in less than an hour.

And speaking of Microsoft Word, I can create a document on my mobile phone, save it to the SkyDrive, share it with people who don't even have Microsoft Word and let them edit it, then open it in the full Microsoft Word and add dynamic, high-quality diagrams and charts with just a few clicks each. I can save it as a PDF just as easily as any other format, without plug ins, and email it to my local Staples or FedEx and have it printed and waiting for me when I arrive.

I haven't even opened the case in my PC since I bought it a few years ago, save once to blow out some cat hair.

Sorry, but you're doing it wrong.

Re:At the mercy of the designer and the consumer. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40830507)

Every "innovation" is now in the design space and is simply about establishing a brand and adding a layer of turd polish rather than solving problems or increasing efficiency.

Look at Metro, look at Windows Phone, look at these input devices, look at everything Apple has done for the last 10 years, look at everything.

Quite wrong. Windows 8 and the matching phone do have some very nice efficiency improvements, the problem is that Metro can't be disabled on towers. If they did the internal optimizations and left the UI exactly like in 7, most users would consider it a true upgrade, with a few complaining that there's nothing "new" about it.

The initial developer preview had an option to disable Metro, and it was a very nice improvement over 7 that way. Much less overhead, smoother startup, the whole thing could run on VM hardware settings far below the "minimum" specs, and run pretty well.

Not all of us (1)

bbbaldie (935205) | more than 2 years ago | (#40830703)

We who run Linux can still pretty much be the masters of our own desktop domains. :-)

Re:At the mercy of the designer and the consumer. (1)

Telvin_3d (855514) | more than 2 years ago | (#40830737)

That's because there are no more hardware limitations. Standard hardware is able to handle HD video or animation or anything else, let alone word processing. So of course all the current innovation is in the area of design. Hardware speed could double tomorrow and it would not make much noticeable difference.

Gahh! (2)

onyxruby (118189) | more than 2 years ago | (#40829779)

Keyboards and mice are one thing Microsoft has always done right, what happened? Even in their darkest days, I could get even the most zealous of Linux diehard users to admit that they made some of the best mice and keyboards around. This is especially important when you want ergonomic products to avoid injuring your wrists! Apple made the puck and microsoft makes the wedge. Google, please don't make the square, if you do I will mock you forever, ok?

Look, copying Apple with a design over function is not always a good thing ok? Simple isn't always better, sometimes functional and usable really is more important ok? Grr

/arrow keys in the Android keyboard - where did they go? My list of examples could go on and on. People need to quit assuming that apple does things better just because their apple and do their own thing. dammit.

Re:Gahh! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40830125)

But multiple buttons confuse people! That's why we all should copy Apple. Microwaves should have just one button. Phones should have just one. Keyboards and mice should have just one! It's the right direction - you can't get confused by it.

Re:Gahh! (2)

CAIMLAS (41445) | more than 2 years ago | (#40830381)

Apple is the new Microsoft and Microsoft is the new Apple.

Apple is making money hand over fist, quarter after quarter. They have the 'desirable' products which everyone wants and clamors for, and nobody really seems to care that the 'added functionality' of the new products is mostly glam shoved on top of poop, with no concrete improvements or functionality: it's mostly just window dressing. Welcome to Microsoft, circa mid- to late 1990s.

Microsoft is languishing and slowly losing market share to their competitors. They can't focus. Their products are stuck in a slow, grinding revision process with everything good and/or desirable about their products being phased out for the Big New. They've started to stagnate, and people see their products as commodity - you have them because you need them, not necessarily because they're superior or desirable. All of their changes are seen as regressions by the loyal and technically savvy. Welcome to Apple, late 1990s.

In terms of input devices, we're at a point where gaming consoles threaten general purpose computers for "better, more complex input devices". How fucked is that?

It's like sex furniture... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40829785)

...for your computer.

Re:It's like sex furniture... (1)

santax (1541065) | more than 2 years ago | (#40829891)

Yeah if your computer happens to be into BDSM on the more masochistic-side of the spectrum. Just make sure to put a condom on these things. Don't want to good ol' chap getting a viral-infection now would we?

New logo (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#40829843)

I noticed something strange about the "Microsoft" word mark on these devices. It's no longer bold italic and no longer with a notch cut into the 'o'. I'm not saying these products are fake, but is Microsoft rebranding itself?

Re:New logo (1)

pointyhat (2649443) | more than 2 years ago | (#40829881)

Yes they are going through an extensive rebrand to make everything Metro-esque, including hardware. While I appreciate it for web sites and branding, it's shit if you have to do anything other than consume with it.

A Batch? (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 2 years ago | (#40829991)

Ha, ha. I get it.

Shouldn't groups of Microsoft products be referred to as a rafter [todayifoundout.com] ?

Bluetooth Keyboard? (1)

Guppy06 (410832) | more than 2 years ago | (#40830037)

From what I can tell, this is the first actual Bluetooth keyboard to be released by Microsoft for years. Looking for a replacement for my Wireless Entertainment Keyboard 7000, all I could find from Microsoft were "wireless" keyboards, using their usual proprietary wireless connections (and no mention of encryption).

Bring back the trackball! (1)

BenJeremy (181303) | more than 2 years ago | (#40830113)

Wake me when they bring back their best input device ever... the 5-button Microsoft Trackball Optical. Ergonomic, useful, and an efficient number and layout of buttons for work and play.

As for WinMetro, what use is a mouse? Can somebody explain how, WITHOUT USING A KEYBOARD, you can exit a Metro app on the desktop strictly by GUI?

Microsoft shills keep popping up explaining how we are all idiots for notusing the simple keyboard shortcuts. I rebut this by stating a UI is useless if you MUST use the keyboard to do basic operations (like exit the app)

Re:Bring back the trackball! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40830359)

Top left corner of the screen > right-click>exit/close (can't remember which)

Re:Bring back the trackball! (1)

BenJeremy (181303) | more than 2 years ago | (#40830581)

Nope, not working in Metro Maps. Left-clicking does nothing in the upper corners, right-clicking just brings up the menu at the bottom with no "Exit app" icon. Same goes for a quick check in Metro IE.

Alt-F4 works, but as I said, that is complete GUI Fail on Microsoft's part.

Re:Bring back the trackball! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40831747)

As for WinMetro, what use is a mouse? Can somebody explain how, WITHOUT USING A KEYBOARD, you can exit a Metro app on the desktop strictly by GUI?

You mean like clicking on the top of the Metro app and dragging to the bottom of the screen? Or dragging with your finger from the top to the bottom of the app?

no more mouse wheels! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40830145)

i like the touch strip idea replacing the mouse wheel (i've had many broken wheels over the years). i just hope it can be clicked like a mouse wheel.

Re:no more mouse wheels! (1)

BenJeremy (181303) | more than 2 years ago | (#40830201)

Odd, I prefer the feedback of a wheel, and while I've been using them for 2 decades, I've never broken a single mouse wheel, nor had one fail for me.

Perhaps you are doing it wrong?

Re:no more mouse wheels! (1)

dittbub (2425592) | more than 2 years ago | (#40830589)

the elastic band inside my logitech mouse broke once. anything held together with an elastic band can't be good.

Am I the only one who read... (1)

NecroPuppy (222648) | more than 2 years ago | (#40830223)

this: "The Wedge Touch Mouse is an artful product shaped as an angular wedge..."

as this: "The Wedge Touch Mouse is an awful product shaped as an angular wedge..."

Looking at it, it in no way looks like it is designed for comfort of use.

Microsoft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40830259)

http://www.chungcu24h.com.vn/

Ironically enough... (1)

bbbaldie (935205) | more than 2 years ago | (#40830455)

Microsoft hardware has consistently been good stuff. If they would abandon coding altogether, their company might have potential.

Just bring back the Trackball Explorer! (1)

Alzheimers (467217) | more than 2 years ago | (#40830465)

The single most perfect input device ever created was made by Microsoft: the Trackball Explorer. [amazon.com] With a futuristic, ergonomic shape (it's the navigation control for Moya [wikia.com] ) that's comfortable to use all day, I can't believe they still stopped producing them.

All they need to do is bring this back with Bluetooth a few other touch-sensitive features, and I would be estatic. Not having to pay $400 for a replacement when my current one eventually dies would be nice, too.

I want to try them (1)

elabs (2539572) | more than 2 years ago | (#40830765)

These look really compelling. I just want to handle and feel them before I buy.

Here's Hoping ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40830819)

I hope they release a large padded oval button controller that we can slam our heads into repeatedly. That's how most people will be interacting with Windows 8 anyways.

start button (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40831511)

Which input device turns on the start button?

Bluetooth Mouse and Keyboard (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40831771)

I already have a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse for use with my notebook computer when working in my home office. The keyboard is solar powered while the mouse requires 2-AA batteries. The only wires are the power cord for the notebook computer and the HDMI cable connecting the notebook computer to the 22-inch HDTV which I use as an HD monitor. By the way, Logitech makes these two peripherals. For the win I am running Ubuntu with Microsoft Windows 7 in a virtual machine.

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