Microsoft offered a half-answer to Apple’s Magic Mouse late last year with the Arc Touch Mouse, a rather unique bendable unit that offered some touch functionality but didn’t completely eschew the traditional left and right-clicking buttons. Now the company is back with a new device that has been designed to bring special gesture features to Windows 7 users: the Microsoft Touch Mouse.
The device supports a number of different touch gestures using one, two or three fingers -- including flicks, pinch-to-zoom, and panning. It also packs Microsoft's BlueTrack technology, so it should work on pretty much any surface, and like most other 2.4GHz mice out there it has a small USB receiver to communicate with your computer. The company is shipping its mouse with a set of drivers to enable the touch functionality on Windows 7, so it doesn’t look like it will work on other operating systems. It also doesn’t appear to allow customization or addition of gestures.
Microsoft claims the Touch Mouse is the result of two years of research and prototyping. It will begin selling the device in May for $80, but has begun to take pre-orders through its Amazon promotional website.