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Innovation

Microsoft further expands its Multipoint brand with new collaboration tools

Microsoft has updated the software development kit (SDK) for MultiPoint Mouse, a technology for creating applications that allow multiple students use their own mice to interact on the same PC. Meanwhile, Microsoft has fielded a public beta of Mouse Mischief, a Microsoft application for building PowerPoint apps that builds on top of the SDK.
Written by Mary Jo Foley, Senior Contributing Editor on

Microsoft has updated the software development kit (SDK) for MultiPoint Mouse, a technology for creating applications that allow multiple students use their own mice to interact on the same PC. Meanwhile, Microsoft has fielded a public beta of Mouse Mischief, a Microsoft application for building PowerPoint apps that builds on top of the SDK.

The MultiPoint Mouse SDK was developed by Microsoft Research. Like other MultiPoint offerings, it is aimed at students, teachers and "policymakers," primarily in developing countries, who are in need of more affordable ways to access technology. It enables the creation of applications that allow up to 25 participants to collaborate on a single PC.

The MultiPoint brand has undergone a number of changes over the past year-plus. Windows MultiPoint — a product developed largely by Microsoft in India and which Microsoft officially unveiled in 2006 — enabled multiple users to access a single host computer. Last year, Microsoft changed the name of that product to Windows MultiPoint Mouse SDK (or just plain old MultiPoint Mouse SDK, for short).

Last November, Microsoft also introduced another new MultiPoint product: MultiPoint Server 2010. The Server version of MultiPoint is a host-run operating system that enables multiple users to each run different applications on their own "user stations." The product will have the same application requirements as Remote Desktop Services on Windows Server 2008 R2 (and is based on Windows Server 2008) officials said. It is due out in the first half of 2010.  (Blogger Long Zheng of istartedsomething fame thinks MultiPoint Server 2010 could find a home in homes, and not just schools. Interesting idea...)

The final version of Mouse Mischief is slated for release in the first half of 2010, as well, according to Microsoft officials.

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