Windows 8 customized mice, keyboards due in coming weeks and months

Windows 8 customized mice, keyboards due in coming weeks and months

Summary: Microsoft is rolling out new mice and keyboards with support for Windows 8 hot keys.

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Remember those leaked Microsoft Wedge mouse and keyboard images from a few weeks back? They were, indeed,  real.

Microsoft announced on July 30 that 'in the coming weeks and months,' it will roll out two new Bluetooth-enabled keyboards and two new mice, including the Wedge Touch Mouse, the Wedge Mobile Keyboard, the Sculpt Touch Mouse, and the Sculpt Mobile Keyboard. The new devices will all work with Windows 8, Windows RT and Windows 7 PCs and tablets. (The new keyboards and mice also work with Macs running OS X v 10.6 and 10.7.)

win8wedge

Though not a multi-touch device, the Wedge Touch Mouse supports four-way (up, down, left, right) touch scrolling and navigation. It also includes support for Bluetrack, in addition to Bluetooth, so that it can be used on "virtually any surface." The estimated retail price for the Wedge Touch mouse is $69.95.

The Wedge Mobile keyboard includes support for Windows 8 hot keys and built-in media keys. It is Bluetooth-enabled. The keyboard includes a cover that can be converted into a tablet stand. Estimated retail price is $79.95.

standbecomesacover

The Sculpt keyboard ias a natural keyboard with Windows 8 hot keys built in. Microsoft estimates it will offer 10 months of battery life. In addition to supporting the PC and Mac operating systems listed above, the Sculpt keyboard also supports Windows Vista. Estimated retail price is $49.95. The Sculpt mouse, supporting four-way scrolling via a strip, is Bluetooth-enabled, and also will list for $49.95.

In addition, Microsoft will also release updated Windows 8 gestures for the existing Microsoft Touch Mouse on October 26, which is the day Windows 8 will be generally available in the retail market.

Anything Microsoft can do to make the new and unfamiliar Windows 8 interface easier to navigate is a good thing. Here's hoping these new peripherals can help users missing their Windows Start buttons and trying to master the new Windows 8 Charms encounter less of a learning curve.

Topics: Microsoft, Hardware, Windows

About

Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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25 comments
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  • Wow!

    That damn mouse is a throwback to the Ugly days of Computing!
    slickjim
  • That's a mouse?

    What are they thinking?
    Michael Alan Goff
    • RE: Reaction to Anti-Metro backlash

      I believe they were surprised with the negative reaction to Metro is on the desktop or that in this "post-pc" era anybody would even care. This is meant to show that they are thinking about their traditional customers and as a transitory device to touch for them.
      edkollin
      • But it's so ugly

        Ugly things have a hard time selling.
        Michael Alan Goff
  • Wedge looks strange.

    I don't mind the ergo two fingered tilt but it has these rather ugly corners. Another question is "broadband required" for the mouse? What possible relationship is broadband to a mouse? Got to be a mistake altho 150 meg storage is required as well. Maybe it piggybacks on internet connection?
    droidfromsd
    • Driver download?

      I guess you Internet access to download the drivers from Windows Update. No CD included.
      reidar76
  • Surprising...

    Considering Microsoft's experience in making mouse hardware and the design awards they earned, this new Wedge "thing" seems to be a drastic evolution (to remain polite).

    It is far from obvious that this "thing" is confortable or pleasant to use.
    TheCyberKnight
    • On looks alone...

      I would agree with you. This is a product I'd like to try in a store before going ahead with the purchase. Luckly, there is a MS store planned for Yorkdale mall in Toronto, so hopefully I'll have a chance this year.
      kstap
  • Not A Typical Mouse

    I am assuming that that "mouse" is not a typical mouse that you move around your desk, but rather you move your fingers on the surface of it and your fingers are the mouse. That would give the illusion of a touch interface better than a typical mouse could.
    jhnnybgood
    • Hmm

      After reading a little more, I think my assumption was wrong... I don't understand it.
      jhnnybgood
      • I think your original assumption...

        is Correct. That is a touch surface on top, not a wheel.
        thekman58
        • bluetrack

          If that were true, why would you need bluetrack?
          ClickHouse
    • Trackpad?

      I guess it is more like a trackpad then a mouse.
      reidar76
  • No multitouch on the Wedge Touch Mouse?

    Does it offer any more functions than the existing Touch mouse? Appears that it may be less. (In a smaller, nore "designed" package.)
    bobknowlden@...
  • Windows 7 - 2020 all the way

    I really wonder, in light of all the environmentally friendly propaganda, if asking everyone to throw out their mice and keyboards is really something a company expects millions of people to do.

    This crap is really just an acknowledgement that Windows 8 is a failure on the desktop. If the standard mouse has more or less done the job for 30 years on multiple OSes and platforms, there is something seriously wrong in the Redmond twilight zone.
    ITTech001
    • You can use a standard mouse/keyboard combination

      You'd know this if you actually tried it out.
      Michael Alan Goff
      • Amusing

        Yeah, that didn't occur to me, fanboy.

        My comments were directed at yet more OS-specific hotkeys, and at a mouse that doubles in complexity, in order to create an "optimal" experience with the new OS.

        I didn't say you couldn't use an old mouse and keyboard.

        Learn to read and comprehend.
        ITTech001
        • You act like it mysteriously does less now

          It doesn't do any less than it did before.

          Also, "fanboy" seems to be the terms idiots use when anyone disagrees with them. Get new material.
          Michael Alan Goff
        • "...asking everyone to throw out their mice and keyboards..."

          "I didn't say you couldn't use an old mouse and keyboard."

          You implied it. Right there. See?
          milo ducillo
  • Think I will wait for Thinkpad keyboard

    Hopefully Lenovo will come out with a portable ThinkPad keyboard with a trackpoint and win 8 function keys and a Windows key. TrackPoint really works great on Windows 8 as you do not have to move it very far to get to the corners. And they are without a doubt the best feeling keyboards made. MS should have just gotten them to make their keyboards.
    brickengraver