Something to look forward to: Microsoft received much-deserved praise when its accessories made gaming easier for those with disabilities a few years ago. The company has finally announced when it will bring a similar level of accessibility to everyday computer use, along with the price for each new accessory.
In May, Microsoft announced its collection of customizable and attachable input devices to help those with disabilities easily make keyboard and mouse inputs. Six new PC accessibility adapters from Microsoft will be available on October 25. Pre-orders went live on the Microsoft store.
The Microsoft Adaptive Mouse can work as a standard compact mouse, attach to the Mouse Tail for a more traditional shape, and use the Thumb Support for extra right-handed or left-handed comfort. It can also connect with up to three devices — wirelessly or through USB-C — for additional functionality and accessibility. The Adaptive Mouse is $44.99, while the Mouse Tail and Thumb Support come bundled for $14.99.
With Microsoft's $59.99 Adaptive Hub, users can replace or expand keyboard input by attaching various other accessories. Like the Adaptive Mouse, it can connect to up to three devices wirelessly or through USB-C. It also wirelessly connects to up to four Microsoft adaptive buttons and supports assistive technology from other manufacturers.
Microsoft offers three adaptive buttons for $39.99 each — a concave d-pad, a joystick, and a convex dual button. Each offers easy access to eight-way directional input in different styles for different accessibility needs. They can also handle complex tasks on PCs and phones through sequence macros.
Through Shapeways, Microsoft offers various 3D-printed tails, supports, and other attachments that can further alter the adaptive mouse and buttons to each user's unique needs. Microsoft also has 3D printed grips for the Business Pen and Classroom Pen 2.
The new accessories echo the Xbox Adaptive Controller, an adaptor hub Microsoft released in 2018 to expand accessibility for Xbox and PC games. It can attach to various assistive peripherals to suit users depending on their disabilities. Since then, products from companies like 8BitDo and Hori have brought similar functionality to other platforms like Android, Raspberry Pi, and Nintendo Switch.