Microsoft Corp. on Wednesday announced
new wireless peripherals
that will go on sale before the end of the month. The mice and keyboards boast new scroll wheels and wireless optical technologies. They’re compatible with Mac OS X (10.1 and higher).
The new product versions introduced today are Microsoft Wireless IntelliMouse Explorer, IntelliMouse Explorer, Wireless Optical Mouse, Wireless Optical Desktop Elite, Wireless Optical Desktop Pro, Wireless Optical Desktop and Basic Wireless Optical Desktop. The new mice sport Tilt Wheel Technology and offer vertical and horizontal scrolling in a single wheel, accelerated scrolling and the ability to toggle between open windows by depressing the wheel button. Select keyboards have My Favorites Keys, five new keyboard buttons that can be set to deliver one-touch access to preferred files and Web sites.
Microsoft says the products’ new power-saving Microsoft Optical Technology delivers more than six months of battery life for average use while maintaining mouse performance. The wireless products also introduce smart receivers, which offer approximately 65,000 identification codes to reduce the occurrence of cross-talk. These receivers work with the included software to detect potential interference from other 27MHz wireless devices and feature a wizard that guides users through steps to reduce interference.
The new mice and keyboards will comes in a variety of colors, such as Periwinkle and Metallic Red. Microsoft has also added some unusual textures and graphics to peripheral lineup, with finishes such as the feel of leather.
The offerings include three new mice. The US$54.95 Wireless IntelliMouse Explorer is an ergonomic mouse with five buttons available in such finishes as Metallic Grey, Metallic Blue, Platinum and Black Leather (the Black Leather version is $$64.95). A wired version, IntelliMouse Explorer, is available for $44.95. The $64.95 Wireless Optical Mouse has a three-button design in three colors — Metallic Red, Periwinkle and Steel Blue — and one graphic, Blue Moon.
There are four new wireless keyboards. The $104.95 Wireless Optical Desktop Elite includes a straight keyboard design and Wireless IntelliMouse Explorer, covered in a titanium-and-metallic-gray finish. It offers such new features as a cushioned palm rest with the feel of leather and a left-side scroll wheel on the keyboard to complement the scroll wheel on the mouse, both of which use Tilt Wheel Technology.
The updated Wireless Optical Desktop Pro, also $104.95, features the new Wireless IntelliMouse Explorer, an ergonomic design with black-and-titanium finish with translucent keys. In addition, the $84.95 Wireless Optical Desktop has a traditional flat keyboard in the same design as its ergonomic counterpart. It comes with the new ambidextrous Wireless Optical Mouse. Microsoft also is introducing the $64.95 Basic Wireless Optical Desktop, which comes in a white-and-gray finish.