Microsoft intros touch-friendly Win8 mice

Need another hint that desktop users weren’t a priority for Windows 8? Check out the Wedge Touch mouse Microsoft designed to accompany the OS. This may be the least ergonomic input device I’ve ever seen.

The 23-degree angle of the mouse’s touch area is supposed to be “the ideal slope for both comfort and fluid touch scrolling.” Overall, though, the shape looks considerably less than comfortable. The mouse is quite small, and it seems you’re supposed to pinch it rather than cup the thing in your palm. Hopefully, resting one’s fingers on the touch area doesn’t generate unwanted input.

The Wedge Mouse supports four-way touch scrolling and connects via Bluetooth. It’s supposed to follow paired devices into sleep mode, which sounds like a nice feature. I wish there was broader gesture support, though. The larger Microsoft Touch mouse is getting a driver update with a bunch of Win8 gestures, including three-finger zooming, two-finger application switching, and one-finger Metro navigation. Presumably, you can choose the single digit that best expresses how you feel about Metro.

The full-sized Touch mouse sells for $80, while the mini Wedge is set to cost $70. There’s also a new Sculpt Touch mouse that supports a smaller suite of Win8 gestures and costs $50. The offers Bluetooth connectivity and looks like it has comfy curves.

Comments closed
    • ermo
    • 7 years ago

    “We shall see” as the Zen Master says.

    Given the amount of spite and ridicule thrown at the device pictured above, I guess it would make sense to ask how many of you have actually held the thing in your hand and actually [i<]used[/i<] it? I have a hard time believing that MS's design department would create something like this without having tested it extensively. I would argue that it has to work in the design sense (form and function) at some level, otherwise it wouldn't have made it into production. At the very least, it is certainly, er, [i<]distinctive[/i<].

    • moog
    • 7 years ago

    A more comprehensive and balanced article can be found here

    [url<]http://gizmodo.com/5930016/microsoft-wedge-mobile-keyboard-and-wedge-touch-mouse-the-first-windows-8-accessories-arrive-in-style[/url<]

    • Arclight
    • 7 years ago

    Microsoft, I am dissapoint.

    • Bensam123
    • 7 years ago

    Wow, just wow… This just blows my mind. They want to push metro so badly that they replaced the mouse with a wedge. Even a trackball is better then this! No one wants fing metro.

    • RhysAndrews
    • 7 years ago

    I think it looks cool.
    It also looks pretty uncomfortable, but I’ll reserve my judgement for when I actually put my hand on one.

    And I wouldn’t call this another hint that desktop users weren’t a priority – I’d suggest it’s a hint that Microsoft have a plan for desktop users who want to keep using their keyboard and mouse and still be productive.

    • HisDivineOrder
    • 7 years ago

    And I thought the Apple Hockey Puck (trademarked, copyrighted, and patented by Apple, don’t copy it or you’ll get sued!) was bad.

    • Chrispy_
    • 7 years ago

    Apple mighty mouse lawsuit in
    3…
    2…
    1…

    • Anarchist
    • 7 years ago

    this $80 device is proof positive that the top levels of microsoft are brain-dead.

      • l33t-g4m3r
      • 7 years ago

      Or insane, and their yes men don’t provide any sanity checks.

      • Krogoth
      • 7 years ago

      No, they are moving onto greener pastures.

      The traditional PC desktop market is fully saturated. Their primary customer in this market (enterprise/SMB) are in the process of doing the entire XP to 7 migration. They aren’t in the position to do another upgrade. The mainstream market (average joe) aren’t getting new desktops. They are getting portable systems and are currently opting for Apple and Android-based solutions. Microsoft wants a piece of the action. Windows 8 is the result of this.

      The PC gamers and enthusiasts are a non-factor. Microsoft doesn’t care about this vocal minority. On the gaming end, they are focusing more on their gaming consoles. It another reason why Blizzard/Valve are so concerned about Windows 8. They are afraid that Windows Store will squeezed them out on the PC end, while Microsoft has their console part taken care of.

        • l33t-g4m3r
        • 7 years ago

        There is so much wrong with your argument. First, Microsoft doesn’t need to sacrifice the desktop for tablets. Second, saturation is not an excuse for Metro, and actually is a negative. If the desktop market really is “saturated” then you would think Microsoft would try to keep the users it already has instead of throwing them away. Third, “enthusiasts” are a HUGE factor, as they literally stopped the Vista adoption for favor of 7. 8/Metro is so much worse that developers are even moving towards linux, so I’d say the vocal negativity factor has been magnified many times vs Vista. Only a tiny minority will care to use windows 8, and that will be users purchasing tablets, not computers. Everyone else will know how bad 8 is and avoid it like the plague, so you better believe that’s a factor, and Microsoft better start caring right now. Fourth, xbox is not an excuse for Metro. PC users don’t care for it or the App store, and it’s obviously not going to sell.

        Blizzard/Valve are the ones dealing in reality, not Microsoft. If Microsoft destroys windows, then we obviously need a replacement, and once that replacement happens, there will no longer be Microsoft on the desktop. There is no rational excuse for Metro, as it is the total destruction of Microsoft’s taken for granted empire.

        You know what else? I find this whole tablet or bust lemmings off the cliff mindset insane. There is no physical evidence that people will even BUY Microsoft’s tablets Vs Apple’s Ipad. Apple has the brand recognition and is already in the market, whereas Microsoft does not have brand recognition in the tablet space, and will have TONS of negative press for forcing Metro on the desktop. The only logical conclusion of the Tablets or Bust mindset is BUST.

          • Madman
          • 7 years ago

          Yeah, it’s the enthusiasts who got the Firefox rolling, it’s a bad idea to underestimate that.

            • Krogoth
            • 7 years ago

            That’s enterprise side not mainstream.

            IE still holds a stranglehold on the mainstream part of the market.

            Chrome is creeping up as well.

            • Madman
            • 7 years ago

            Only in US.

            • BobbinThreadbare
            • 7 years ago

            You have an odd definition of strangle hold. Both Firefox and Chrome have ~20% of the market.

          • Krogoth
          • 7 years ago

          Keep living in delusion.

          Computer enthusiast haven’t mattered that much for years. Windows 8 and general move towards portable platforms just makes it more painfully apparent. The traditional desktop PC is becoming the big irons of yesterday. Time are changing whatever you like it or not. The changes in marketshare speak for itself.

          It seems that most of the enthusiast here are still in the denial/anger stage of grief. I have pass all of that onto the acceptance stage.

          Microsoft isn’t sacrificing desktops that they are adapting to the current climate in the marketplace. Mainstream crowd isn’t buying desktops anymore and enterprise crowd who are still getting desktops are currently busy with the XP to 7 migration. That leaves a small minority in the dust. It doesn’t make business sense to go out of your way to support the needs of a vocal minority.

          Vista’s PR backlash came from the enterprise community where its new driver library and security model broke countless mission critical applications that used to run fine on NT 5.x.

          Mainstream market’s response was just lukewarm, since from their perspective Vista itself didn’t offer anything new to the table over XP to warrant an desktop upgrade. It probably didn’t help that OEMs threw Vista on el cheapo hardware that could barely run it at all.

            • l33t-g4m3r
            • 7 years ago

            [quote<]"Keep living in delusion."[/quote<] You know, I think that summarizes your whole argument right there. [quote<]acceptance stage[/quote<] You know what stage the rest of us are at? Alternatives. We don't need Microsoft, Microsoft needs us. [quote<]Microsoft isn't sacrificing desktops[/quote<] Bull. Bull, Bull, Bull, Bullity Bull. Get Metro off the desktop then. [quote<]isn't buying desktops anymore[/quote<] More manure. People still buy desktops, and PC gaming is certifiably making a comeback. The problem is that Microsoft doesn't want the PC to come back, and it is despite their current efforts, therefore we get Metro shoved in our face. Here's the thing, man. Microsoft is completely scrapping the desktop for tablet, and you obviously love that, but the problem is tha there is NO market space for Microsoft Tablets. Apple has beaten them to the punch, and Microsoft has to fight it's way into this segment. Good luck making any profit when people stop buying your OS on desktop or laptop, and word of mouth stops your tablet sales. As of RIGHT NOW, Microsoft has NO W8 tablet marketshare, but they somehow think dumping ALL of their existing marketshare for tablets is a good idea. HAHAHAHAHAHA.

            • Krogoth
            • 7 years ago

            Are you sure about that?

            All of the desktops that I have seen in the mainstream market are two years old or older. They aren’t moving away from the shelves like they use to. The only thing that I seen being sold are portables. Apple’s record sales and Android related stuff flying off the shelves speak for themselves.

            Traditional desktops aren’t dying at all, they are just becoming a niche market. There’s a reason why main OEM are shifting their attention to portables.

            • Madman
            • 7 years ago

            Every poll in general population sites state that 80%+ of users still think the PC is the most powerful computing solution, and want to keep it for main computing tasks.

            • Krogoth
            • 7 years ago

            The problem is that most mainstream applications do not require that level of power anymore.

            Mainstream crowd like the convenience and portability that comes with mobile form factors. They have enough processing power to handle anything that isn’t computationally intensive.

            It is a different story on the enterprise side, however they are the only crowd that is currently getting desktop PCs by the bulk. They aren’t Windows 8’s primary target. They are still currently undergoing the entire XP => 7 migration.

            • destroy.all.monsters
            • 7 years ago

            Different markets and different niches for different needs. This point has been made over and over again and still it evades you.

            Sure there’s crossover as to what each device can do – but when you write your next company report on a touchscreen and tell us exactly how much fun that is you’ll finally grasp how unbelievably wrong you are. Have a presentation that isn’t merely moving boxes around like lego? Have a game to play that’s more computationally taxing than angry birds? Have any game that has an indepth menuing system or is a first or even third person shooter? Doing something in any 3D modeling program? And it goes on and on.

            For light web surfing and wasting time on facebook phones and tablets are great. Tablets are unparalleled imo for reading pdfs. Each has their own strengths and weaknesses. Presuming that the mobile space will somehow supplant the desktop not only presumes facts not in evidence – it utterly fails to grasp UI issues that aren’t (easily or at all) changeable.

            You’re basically saying that your anecdotal evidence of not knowing anyone who’s bought a desktop in the last two years is somehow relevant or is indicative of the market as a whole. It isn’t.

        • destroy.all.monsters
        • 7 years ago

        Until humans stop breeding and stop needing to do real work on their computers the desktop market will never be saturated. Further there is no such thing as infinite growth in any market. Only in the way that MS owns currently the desktop market are they able to completely turn away from desktop users – and those users will not be happy.

        A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. This is MS letting go of what it has in its hand to chase the two in the bush.

    • funko
    • 7 years ago

    If you read the MS link, it seems clear to me that the Wedge Touch Mouse is the mobile mouse meant to accompany the mobile keyboard. The bottom of the post shows the Microsoft Touch Mouse which is the desktop full sized mouse that was already released. I don’t see this as a sign that MS is not focusing on the desktop. The full sized desktop mouse was released months in advance, this is just the mobile version being released months afterwards, showing that the mobile version was the version that had less of a focus placed on it. Am I missing something in my logic here? There is also a 2nd desktop mouse called the Sculpt Mouse, so there are two desktop mice and only 1 mobile mouse

    anyways, i’m not a fan of finger tip mice. but if you ahve a tablet youre probably packing light, so something this small makes sense, otherwise im sure MS saw the plethora of mobile mice that are excellent from the likes of MS and Logitech, and just filled in the blanks with these 3 models.

    • Kougar
    • 7 years ago

    It’s official. After years of playing runner up to Apple, Microsoft has at last won the gold medal for the world’s worst mouse! So unergonomic that it will even include an extra, free subscription to carpel tunnel with every purchase.

    • SnowboardingTobi
    • 7 years ago

    What they need to do is let you hook up a Win 8 tablet to your desktop (usb or wireless) and let the tablet serve as a control surface. The metro UI could stay up permanently on the tablet while your desktop monitor keeps the desktop interface.

    Or sell a small 7″ touch device that serves the same kind of function and maybe attached to the back of a keyboard so it’s within reach.

    • tootercomputer
    • 7 years ago

    They really need to put out a video to s how what this will do. $80 for a “full-size Touch mouse?” This will have to be good.

    • burntham77
    • 7 years ago

    I would rather have a touch pad with a little screen on it that mirrors my desktop and use that to get around Windows 8.

    • sparkman
    • 7 years ago

    related: saw this at Best Buy

    [url=http://www.microsoft.com/hardware/en-us/p/arc-touch-mouse#overview<]MS Arc Touch Mouse[/url<]

    • solo_clipper
    • 7 years ago

    Maybe the picture is backwards and the high part of the wedge goes under your palm? WTF??

    • bthylafh
    • 7 years ago

    It is this decade’s iMac puck mouse.

    • slaimus
    • 7 years ago

    They discontinue the Wheel mouse optical and Intellimouse explorer to give us this?

    • Sargent Duck
    • 7 years ago

    Wow…just wow.

    Microsoft, I stuck up for you during the Vista years. I’ve stuck up for you with Windows 7 Phone agains all the Apple/Android flames. And this is how you repay? Nobody could deny you had excellent hardware and were always at the top of your game.

    But this? What is…this? First your software group went loopy with Windows 8 and now the hardware? I’m wondering if there is something in the water…

    • internetsandman
    • 7 years ago

    Microsoft looked at Apple’s desktop trackpad and thought, yeah, that’s a great idea, but what if it were a lot smaller and had to be moved around instead of acting like a desktop version of a laptop trackpad?

    Microsoft is taking big cues from Apple and fumbling wildly. They saw how Apple can usually predict and provide features that the average consumer wants, they decided to copy that strategy without any idea of how Apple actually does it, and now they’re trying to shove their ideas onto our desks, while turning a blind eye and deaf ear to all of the criticism they’ve received.

      • blastdoor
      • 7 years ago

      Samsung’s strategy of just slavishly copying apple and letting the lawyers deal with the consequences looks pretty smart compared to what MS has been doing lately.

        • Madman
        • 7 years ago

        Yeah, and now Apple is forced to advertise Samsung on their website in the UK 😀

    • ianworld
    • 7 years ago

    I have the microsoft touch mouse that was made as a copy/clone/whatever to the apple magic mouse. Its a decent product, certainly needs improvement, but at least its ergonomic. If anything it was one of the most comfortable mice I’ve held. It was too heavy so it didn’t slide well and the click was awkward because it was one large button, but this just looks awful. I did hear that the touch mouse is getting a windows 8 update though which is neat. It could use some tweaks, and a middle click…

    • pedro
    • 7 years ago

    This is an enterprise mouse, in a legacy world, and I am a material girl — uh yeh — yes I am a material girl.

    • Vulk
    • 7 years ago

    I’m trying to picture the meeting when an engineering group was sat down and told they were going to get to play a pivotal role in helping the user experience of Windows 8 going forward by implementing the best input device the usability group for the OS was able to conceive of.

    You know they want a touch mouse. So you get all psyched and start thinking of everything wrong wtih Apple’s mouse and how to improve it. There are all these new options modern materials science has come up with recently. You sit down and the power point deck pops up and…

    The concept art pops up…

    This is what they want. A freaking wedge. It’s like a time traveler from 1985 came into the room with his brand new idea for how to improve one of those mice thingies….

    Wow.

    I really hope that this came out of a different group than the design team for Windows 8… My fear is that it didn’t. The mouse guys had to be gnashing their teeth with this. I want access to those internal blogs and Lync records.

    And those prices… Is it just me or does the only ‘good’ option on there cost as much as a top of the line RAT adjustable mouse?

    Holy expletive. What world are they living in? How could a whole room of people look at this and not go ‘hey wait a minute’.

    First it was Metro.

    Then they tried to tell me that my experience with Office for the last 20 years was wrong and I’d been living a Office Lifestyle all this time.

    Now this.

    WTF

      • pedro
      • 7 years ago

      Awesome post.

    • Decelerate
    • 7 years ago

    Valve and Blizzard may have no reason, according to some (I’m rather indifferent), to complain about Win8 before, but here’s Microsoft’s announcement to give them one…

    • drfish
    • 7 years ago

    How do you type the noise that Nixon’s jowls make in Futurama? That was my first reaction to this mouse.

      • ludi
      • 7 years ago

      Insert ping-pong balls into jowls for a limited time each day, starting with 15 minutes and working up to two hours over the course of a month. When jowls are sufficiently expanded, say “buurrrrrr” while shaking jowls vigorously.

    • yogibbear
    • 7 years ago

    [quote<]Presumably, you can choose the single digit that best expresses how you feel about Metro.[/quote<] So much win right here.

    • lilbuddhaman
    • 7 years ago

    Reminds of the Simpsons episode where they get new chairs in the classroom.
    [url<]http://deadhomersociety.files.wordpress.com/2011/01/theboywhoknewtoomuch3_thumb.png?w=512&h=384[/url<]

    • albundy
    • 7 years ago

    i guess when you have that much money to blow around, you can afford to trifle with iffy products like win8 and this expensive butt wedge.

    • ludi
    • 7 years ago

    What a coincidence: 23 degrees might be the temperature of the reception this thing receives.

    (Fahrenheit degrees, of course. Not those balmy 23 Celcius degrees.)

    • Chrispy_
    • 7 years ago

    A kludge fix for a problem that doesn’t need to exist.

    Fix the interface, rather than making expensive, uncomfortable, pointless peripherals that are destined to fail.

    This is a trackpad on a mouse. It has been done before and it was a disaster.

      • Ricardo Dawkins
      • 7 years ago

      The funny thing is the keyboard and mouse works with Windows 7, too…

      oh..and the keyboard looks like it works with the iPad, Nexus and the myriad of BT enabled tablets.

    • Madman
    • 7 years ago

    Linux and non-Microsoft based computing looks better and better each day.

      • Wirko
      • 7 years ago

      Yeah … the OpenOffice Mouse is starting to look better every day, too.

    • Grigory
    • 7 years ago

    What happened to my beloved Microsoft? Have they gone insane? :(((

    • sweatshopking
    • 7 years ago

    that’s actually a pretty ugly ass mouse. this 23 degree things is getting silly.

      • cegras
      • 7 years ago

      What do you mean? I’m sure they looked at the resting, natural curve of the hand in determining that angle.

        • Madman
        • 7 years ago

        Like they did testing and found that minuscule screens with vertical touch input and no multi-tasking is the perfect solution for all computing needs. Especially when you have to type pages of text, and poke minuscule office buttons with greasy fingers.

        Yep, that’s definitely what happened!

          • cegras
          • 7 years ago

          Huh? What are you referring to? You seem to be sneering at tablets – which make up a ton of apple’s revenue. You also seem to be unable to differentiate between ‘consumption’ and ‘creation’.

    • sweatshopking
    • 7 years ago

    whoa double post.

    • derFunkenstein
    • 7 years ago

    Thanks Microsoft, I always wanted an expensive, stylish doorstop.

      • Srsly_Bro
      • 7 years ago

      You can always get a MBP.

        • jdaven
        • 7 years ago

        A MBA would work better because it is wedge shaped.

          • internetsandman
          • 7 years ago

          Unless your house has superb construction, a MBA will just slide under every door

          • Chrispy_
          • 7 years ago

          Yeah, you’d have to use a MBA;

          All doorstops have been banned from the US market until the doorstop manufacturers settle with Apple. Follow us after the jump for an update on Apple vs World in the “wedge shaped device” patent infringement lawsuits.

    • Neutronbeam
    • 7 years ago

    Why am I not surprised that Microsoft would want to give consumers a Wedgie?

    • OneArmedScissor
    • 7 years ago

    What is this I don’t even…

    That says a lot more about MS going off the deep end than anything at all about Windows 8.

      • BloodSoul
      • 7 years ago

      I am 12 years old and what is this?

      Seriously though, the TR lab needs to get one of these… I don’t think anyone in their right mind would buy this unless it had terrific reviews, which seems impossible considering its carpal tunnel inducing form.

    • Homerr
    • 7 years ago

    About 10 years ago I did some user testing with Microsoft with very small mice, though those prototypes looked more conventional. But they did have the wedge, or sloped, shape. They were comfortable to use and I had hoped they would have come out with them back then.

    This one does look a bit gimmicky, and form-over-function in not quite the right way.

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