A brand new OS deserves a new set of input methods, and that’s just what Microsoft has provided through its Touch Mouse Range – just in time for Windows 8.
Windows 8 will be launching on October 26, complete with a new touch-inspired interface. The Metro UI is made to be interacted with on touchscreen tablets, but of course it also has to be used on millions of PCs and laptops.
That’s where the new Touch Mouse range comes in.
First up we have the new Microsoft Touch Mouse. This sleek black slug of a device replaces clicky buttons with a large touch-sensitive surface that can pick up on a range of swiping motions. You’ll be able to bring a third finger into play for zooming in and out, and even use your thumb to negotiate through apps.
These includes 360 scrolling, Instant Viewer and Clear Desktop, according to the Microsoft sales page. These are listed as Windows 7 features, but don’t be fooled – these gestures will really come into their own on the unique Windows 8 interface.
We also have the Microsoft Wedge Touch Mouse. As the name suggests, this is shaped like a door wedge (a particularly expensive one at $70). The pocket-sized Wedge Touch features a large flat touch surface, enabling you to scroll in four directions.
Looking more like a traditional mouse, and removing the advanced swipe controls from equation, the Microsoft Sculpt Touch Mouse comes with a four way touch strip along the centre, where the scroll wheel would have been in a normal mouse.a We’ve seen a similar mouse from Microsoft before, but this one hooks up through Bluetooth rather than USB dongle.
All three devices use Microsoft’s BlueTrack technology, which means they’ll work on pretty much any surface.