Microsoft unveils two new mice for Windows 8 users

By on May 23, 2013, 3:30 PM

Microsoft is attempting to cater to Windows 8 users that don’t have a touchscreen with the announcement of two new pointing devices, the Sculpt Comfort Mouse and the Sculpt Mobile Mouse. Redmond is taking a unique approach by placing a Windows key on each mouse. It seems a bit odd at first considering this key is traditionally part of the keyboard but when you factor in the importance it has in Windows 8, it isn’t quite as shocking.

The Bluetooth-enabled Sculpt Comfort positions the Windows button on the left side for easy thumb access. But Microsoft took it one step further by making the button touch sensitive as well. As such, users can swipe up to toggle open apps and swipe down to launch the multitasking menu. There’s even haptic feedback built in that gives you a physical confirmation that a command was registered although this function is completely optional.

Other than the Windows key, the Sculpt Comfort doesn’t bring any other innovation or creature comforts to the table. In fact, The Verge described it as a standard, inexpensive and plasticy mouse. It’ll be priced at $39.95 when it becomes available next month.

The Sculpt Mobile Mouse is much like other mobile mice from Microsoft except there’s a Windows key directly behind the scroll wheel. The pointer uses a USB dongle for connectivity rather than Bluetooth so you’ll lose a USB port when using it. That’s probably not a huge deal as you’re more likely to use this portable pointer while traveling with your notebook instead of with a desktop machine.

It will retail for $29.95 and should be available alongside the Sculpt Comfort next month.




User Comments: 38

Got something to say? Post a comment
JC713 JC713 said:

Nice approach. I want to see high end mice adopt this, but instead of a big blue strip, there should be a back lit windows button.

spydercanopus spydercanopus said:

That's not where we want the button...

JC713 JC713 said:

That's not where we want the button...

I kind of like it. I prefer the keyboard though.

3 people like this | spydercanopus spydercanopus said:

I kind of like it. I prefer the keyboard though.

I prefer on the Taskbar.

Vrmithrax Vrmithrax, TechSpot Paladin, said:

So, funny story... When Windows8 first hit, I tried to use it on my desktop. Didn't fair too well, mostly due to multiple monitor support issues. But, one of the first things I did was program one of the thumb buttons on my mouse to pop up the Start screen. That made the program hunting process at least a little more tolerable...

Since Microsoft is married to the whole Start screen & tile approach, at least they are actually thinking about the huge portion of users who do not have or want to use a touchscreen interface... Rather than just assuming we are all inevitably bending to their will.

JC713 JC713 said:

Yeah, you can definitely program a key to do that. This one is just larger though.

ReederOnTheRun ReederOnTheRun said:

I kind of like it. I prefer the keyboard though.

I prefer on the Taskbar.

You know if you move your mouse a few more pixels to the bottom left corner of the screen, you can click that to access it too. It's not technically on the taskbar, but its not far.

And these actually look like pretty nice, cheap mice. I might get one.

A backlight would probably look cooler though.

3 people like this | Asok Asus Asok Asus said:

Unbelievable. Microsoft makes an operating system and a user interface that are so bad and so hated that they are almost single-handedly killing the PC industry right now, and their brilliant fix to the problem? A bag on the side of a mouse. You can't make this stuff up folks.

2 people like this | daweimon said:

The one button I always avoid stuck to the mouse. k.

1 person liked this | psycros psycros said:

I swear, I think Google moles have infiltrated Microsoft's upper management. Their suicidal behavior would make a lot more sense if that were true.

1 person liked this | captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

Other than the Windows key, the Sculpt Comfort doesn't bring any other innovation or creature comforts to the table. In fact, The Verge described it as a standard, inexpensive and plasticy mouse. It'll be priced at $39.95 when it becomes available next month.
I still like the "Intellimouse Explorer". Well, other than the fact their own weight causes them to commit suicide if you drop them.

These do look "cheap and plasticy", as though they're being manufactured deeper and deeper in the bowels of mainland china at lower and lower cost.

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

You know if you move your mouse a few more pixels to the bottom left corner of the screen, you can click that to access it too. It's not technically on the taskbar, but its not far.
I see you are never gonna shut up about a link that should have an object to be seen. Come to think of it, how many other hidden links are there? Links without objects, so no one knows they are there. But then it really doesn't matter because what the link represents has changed for the worse. As long as the link represents the Start Screen, I will never use it even as a visible object.

St1ckM4n St1ckM4n said:

You know if you move your mouse a few more pixels to the bottom left corner of the screen, you can click that to access it too. It's not technically on the taskbar, but its not far.

It's about the pixel count of the 'button'. Current Win8 one is what, 4 pixels?

yukka, TechSpot Paladin, said:

If Microsoft copied the touch capabilities of the apple Magic Mouse it could be interesting, then you could use gestures to navigate the touch enabled start screen etc. probably a patent that means they can't though.

VitalyT VitalyT said:

Weird, I was expecting the main button to be removed altogether, following the traits of Windows 8 ...

ReederOnTheRun ReederOnTheRun said:

I see you are never gonna shut up about a link that should have an object to be seen. Come to think of it, how many other hidden links are there? Links without objects, so no one knows they are there. But then it really doesn't matter because what the link represents has changed for the worse. As long as the link represents the Start Screen, I will never use it even as a visible object.

Whatever floats your boat. Sounds like you should go to a Mac though, they'll get rid of that overwhelming complexity for you.

It's about the pixel count of the 'button'. Current Win8 one is what, 4 pixels?

Just for giggles, let's assume it is. Regardless of the size, if you don't have the hand-eye coordination to whip your mouse to the most bottom left corner of the screen, you have bigger problems than a small start screen button. Even a little kid could figure that out. Maybe you're just a late bloomer though.

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Whatever floats your boat. Sounds like you should go to a Mac though, they'll get rid of that overwhelming complexity for you.
You are sending me the wrong direction. I'm asking for choices. You are the one who can't seem to handle complexity.

Edit:

You remind me of a car salesman, who only sales cars of one color. When someone wants a different color, you say whats wrong with this color. This is the best looking car in town.

Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

It's strange that they launch mice. They should be trying to foist their brand of desktop touchscreen down our throats.

1 person liked this | Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

Other than the Windows key, the Sculpt Comfort doesn?t bring any other innovation or creature comforts to the table. In fact, The Verge described it as a standard, inexpensive and plasticy mouse. It?ll be priced at $39.95 when it becomes available next month.
I still like the "Intellimouse Explorer". Well, other than the fact their own weight causes them to commit suicide if you drop them.

These do look "cheap and plasticy", as though they're being manufactured deeper and deeper in the bowels of mainland china at lower and lower cost.

Other than the Windows key, the Sculpt Comfort doesn?t bring any other innovation or creature comforts to the table. In fact, The Verge described it as a standard, inexpensive and plasticy mouse. It?ll be priced at $39.95 when it becomes available next month.
I still like the "Intellimouse Explorer". Well, other than the fact their own weight causes them to commit suicide if you drop them.

These do look "cheap and plasticy", as though they're being manufactured deeper and deeper in the bowels of mainland china at lower and lower cost.

I thought that was the whole point. Instead of buying just one, buy a couple. You never know when you're gonna drop it.

ReederOnTheRun ReederOnTheRun said:

You are sending me the wrong direction. I'm asking for choices. You are the one who can't seem to handle complexity.

Edit:

You remind me of a car salesman, who only sales cars of one color. When someone wants a different color, you say whats wrong with this color. This is the best looking car in town.

That makes no sense. I'm starting to see why you are having so many difficulties with basic Win8 navigation. I'm not trying to get you to use Windows 8. I specifically said you should look into a Mac since you can't figure out how to use it. That's called a choice.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

I still like the "Intellimouse Explorer". Well, other than the fact their own weight causes them to commit suicide if you drop them.

These do look "cheap and plasticy", as though they're being manufactured deeper and deeper in the bowels of mainland china at lower and lower cost.

I still like the "Intellimouse Explorer". Well, other than the fact their own weight causes them to commit suicide if you drop them.

These do look "cheap and plasticy", as though they're being manufactured deeper and deeper in the bowels of mainland china at lower and lower cost.

I thought that was the whole point. Instead of buying just one, buy a couple. You never know when you're gonna drop it.

That was terribly cute... It's almost a pity I can't give it two "likes". If it makes you feel better, I'll say I dropped one on the way to the keyboard....

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

That makes no sense. I'm starting to see why you are having so many difficulties with basic Win8 navigation. I'm not trying to get you to use Windows 8. I specifically said you should look into a Mac since you can't figure out how to use it. That's called a choice.
And I would still have a choice if the Start Menu wasn't stripped out of Windows 8. And no, I'm not gonna consider a Mac. You may have money running out the A$$, I don't. And further more, I don't have difficulties with Windows 8 navigations, I am rebelling against the very thought of being forced into it.

1 person liked this | ReederOnTheRun ReederOnTheRun said:

And I would still have a choice if the Start Menu wasn't stripped out of Windows 8. And no, I'm not gonna consider a Mac. You may have money running out the A$$, I don't. And further more, I don't have difficulties with Windows 8 navigations, I am rebelling against the very thought of being forced into it.

Nobody is making you buy Windows 8. I'm pretty sure nobody in the world really cares which OS you have.

coppersloane coppersloane said:

That makes no sense. I'm starting to see why you are having so many difficulties with basic Win8 navigation. I'm not trying to get you to use Windows 8. I specifically said you should look into a Mac since you can't figure out how to use it. That's called a choice.
And I would still have a choice if the Start Menu wasn't stripped out of Windows 8. And no, I'm not gonna consider a Mac. You may have money running out the A$$, I don't. And further more, I don't have difficulties with Windows 8 navigations, I am rebelling against the very thought of being forced into it.

LOL

Why rebel against it? Downgrade to Windows 7 or earlier.

Don't worry, be happy, friend.

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

LOL

Why rebel against it? Downgrade to Windows 7 or earlier.

Don't worry, be happy, friend.

You seriously think I can ride this pony the rest of my life? I must have a short life ahead.

1 person liked this | St1ckM4n St1ckM4n said:

Just for giggles, let's assume it is. Regardless of the size, if you don't have the hand-eye coordination to whip your mouse to the most bottom left corner of the screen, you have bigger problems than a small start screen button. Even a little kid could figure that out. Maybe you're just a late bloomer though.

What's with the ad hominem? Not cool, bro.

Anyway, here's two points in regards to the above:

1. Moving your pointer to the bottom corner of screen isn't hard. You can just forcefully shove the pointer down. However, this ruins the physical position of your mouse on your desk (inb4 not a valid point).

2. This is the kicker - use more than 1 monitor. How do you force the pointer into the corner now..?

There's a massive difference between a kid or some casual user with low DPI mouse sensitivity and casually browsing the web.. as compared to a pro user with known specialised and learn actions. OS helps the user, not the other way around.

ReederOnTheRun ReederOnTheRun said:

What's with the ad hominem? Not cool, bro.

Anyway, here's two points in regards to the above:

1. Moving your pointer to the bottom corner of screen isn't hard. You can just forcefully shove the pointer down. However, this ruins the physical position of your mouse on your desk (inb4 not a valid point).

2. This is the kicker - use more than 1 monitor. How do you force the pointer into the corner now..?

There's a massive difference between a kid or some casual user with low DPI mouse sensitivity and casually browsing the web.. as compared to a pro user with known specialised and learn actions. OS helps the user, not the other way around.

1. You would have to move approximately the same distance to hit a regular start menu button, except this way you don't have to aim for any button. Also, "forcefully shoving" the mouse all the way from the top-right to the bottom-left only displaces it by like an inch anyways (and you're right, this isn't some super high DPI gaming mouse or anything).

2. They actually include corner traps for just this reason...

The validity of your problems aside, you'd think a "pro user" would be able to get around some minor annoyance like this with ease (or learn a keyboard shortcut).

P.S. - You could always buy a Windows 8 mouse if you can't handle the popup button, charm bar button, or keyboard shortcut.

P.P.S. - How many "pro users" complain about too much mouse displacement when clicking a button?

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

2. This is the kicker - use more than 1 monitor. How do you force the pointer into the corner now..?
2. They actually include corner traps for just this reason...
You failed to see St1ckM4n's point that by using multiple monitors, you no longer have a trap for the cursor. This would lead to pixel perfect precision mouse placement without a large object to focus on.

ReederOnTheRun ReederOnTheRun said:

You failed to see St1ckM4n's point that by using multiple monitors, you no longer have a trap for the cursor. This would lead to pixel perfect precision mouse placement without a large object to focus on.

If you only had one monitor, you wouldn't need a trap. The edges of the monitor would stop the mouse. Windows 8 has corner traps deployed when another monitor is connected. It makes the mouse stop at the corners.

It explains it on the bottom of the page here:

[link]

You don't need anything close to "pixel perfect precision".

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

You don't need anything close to "pixel perfect precision".
I stand corrected, those traps would be more annoying than I had imagined. Instead of allowing for the continued use of an object, they implement a trap to break your monitor to monitor mouse movement so you can click on a precise pixel.

What if, just what if that is not where you want to go each time?

ReederOnTheRun ReederOnTheRun said:

I stand corrected, those traps would be more annoying than I had imagined. Instead of allowing for the continued use of an object, they implement a trap to break your monitor to monitor mouse movement so you can click on a precise pixel.

What if, just what if that is not where you want to go each time?

First you were complaining that their was nothing to stop the mouse in the corners, and now you're complaining that there is something that stops the mouse in the corners...

The ridiculousness of your complaints aside, if you don't want to get into the corner trap each time, I'd suggest you don't put your mouse into the corner of the screen each time.

In my opinion, I'd rather be able to turn those features off, because I don't like the drag it makes on the mouse and I always use the hotkeys anyways. But since you and that other guy are having so many difficulties with clicking a simple start screen button, I think you should be glad they have it.

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

First you were complaining that their was nothing to stop the mouse
Incorrect, I was not complaining there was nothing to stop the mouse. I was complaining about the removal of an object to click on. You have read my postings, you know this. Why are you placing false accusations? It's almost as if you want to be seen as ignorant, when we all know better.

In my opinion, I'd rather be able to turn those features off.
Then we are in agreement, we both want choices. The lack of choice is the basis to all my complaints.

But since you and that other guy are having so many difficulties with clicking a simple start screen button, I think you should be glad they have it.
Once again you are having delusions about me having difficulties. I'm not having difficulties because I am choosing not to deal with the annoyances of Windows 8. Once again you have read my postings, you know this.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

I don't want Windows 8 at all. Why? Because I don't want any touch enabled device.

I know me, and if were to rub my hand all over my favorite display, in about two minutes, (or less), I'd have a premature "cybergasm".....:oops:

1 person liked this | St1ckM4n St1ckM4n said:

The validity of your problems aside, you'd think a "pro user" would be able to get around some minor annoyance like this with ease (or learn a keyboard shortcut).

As I said before - pro users are here to do work. Not to do work, to do work. Fact: there is zero benefit to getting rid of start button in terms of productivity. Please prove me wrong with well-thought out sentences.

Also, this is step #1 in the chain. I'm not even gonna start on the Start 'screen'...

ReederOnTheRun ReederOnTheRun said:

As I said before - pro users are here to do work. Not to do work, to do work. Fact: there is zero benefit to getting rid of start button in terms of productivity. Please prove me wrong with well-thought out sentences.

Also, this is step #1 in the chain. I'm not even gonna start on the Start 'screen'...

Except none of your problems are even problems. All you're doing is making up bogus hypothetical situations to try to shine a bad light on something about the Windows 8 start button. The fact is that Windows 8 is a great system, if you're capable enough to learn it. There are some legitimate problems with it, and it could use some improvements to help the users with flat learning curves; but you haven't described any of those real problems.

If you wanted to make a legitimate argument against the popup start button, you could just say something like "There is nothing functionally wrong with a popup start button, but I like to see it on the taskbar because that's what is familiar to me". That would've made a TON more sense than complaining about the "physical mouse displacement" on your desk. Also, you shouldn't complain about things you have never experienced. If you really had a multiple monitor setup, you'd know there are corner traps. In fact, you literally can "force" the mouse into the corner and it'll catch it. I personally find this annoying, so I'd rather they just made the invisible start button bigger on the second screen instead or made it visible in this case. If you were smart and knew what you were talking about; you would've argued that, instead of the opposite. THAT would've been a solid point.

Maybe if you thought out your sentences a little more, you wouldn't sound like some annoying kid who got his hands on a computer. "Pro user". Are you kidding me?

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

Except none of your problems are even problems. All you're doing is making up bogus hypothetical situations to try to shine a bad light on something about the Windows 8 start button. The fact is that Windows 8 is a great system, if you're capable enough to learn it. There are some legitimate problems with it, and it could use some improvements to help the users with flat learning curves; but you haven't described any of those real problems.

If you wanted to make a legitimate argument against the popup start button, you could just say something like "There is nothing functionally wrong with a popup start button, but I like to see it on the taskbar because that's what is familiar to me". That would've made a TON more sense than complaining about the "physical mouse displacement" on your desk. Also, you shouldn't complain about things you have never experienced. If you really had a multiple monitor setup, you'd know there are corner traps. In fact, you literally can "force" the mouse into the corner and it'll catch it. I personally find this annoying, so I'd rather they just made the invisible start button bigger on the second screen instead or made it visible in this case. If you were smart and knew what you were talking about; you would've argued that, instead of the opposite. THAT would've been a solid point.

Maybe if you thought out your sentences a little more, you wouldn't sound like some annoying kid who got his hands on a computer. "Pro user". Are you kidding me?

What does this have to do with M$ two new mouse products?

2 people like this | ReederOnTheRun ReederOnTheRun said:

What does this have to do with M$ two new mouse products?

Nothing, but let's be honest, this is the trend of most Windows 8 posts :p

1 person liked this | captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

Nothing, but let's be honest, this is the trend of most Windows 8 posts :p
Even I can't argue with that. And trust me, I'm willing to argue about almost anything....

Load all comments...

Add New Comment

TechSpot Members
Login or sign up for free,
it takes about 30 seconds.
You may also...
Get complete access to the TechSpot community. Join thousands of technology enthusiasts that contribute and share knowledge in our forum. Get a private inbox, upload your own photo gallery and more.