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.