Microsoft Releases a Slew of Mice, Accessories

It’s mouse-and-keyboard season on the Microsoft campus. Following its announcement of a gaming mouse and keyboard a few weeks ago, the company released three more mice, along with two webcams, and two keyboards. Whereas the last two products targeted gamers specifically, these all have more mainstream appeal. First things first: Microsoft’s marketing teaser. For several weeks now, Microsoft has been running a teaser on its hardware site that says “Say Goodbye to Laser.” As many bloggers have guessed (and the rest of us knew under embargo), this refers to Microsoft’s new BlueTrack technology, which allows users to run a mouse over almost any surface. The technology is available in the Explorer Mouse ($99.95, pictured at right) and Explorer Mini Mouse ($79.95). The Arc Mouse ($59.95, right) has a crescent shape that folds closed, taking up less space in your bag than even miniature mice already on the market. Available in red and black, it comes with a micro transceiver that’s small enough for you to leave plugged into your notebook. The LifeCam Show ($99.95, left) is as sleek as webcam as the VX-5000 is cute. It  has a flat, glossy display, and three attachment options (hence, the name Show): a laptop clip, a willowy, modern-looking stand, and a disc that keeps that webcam attached to your laptop’s lid (I wouldn’t go near my notebook with anything adhesive, but that’s just me). The LifeCam VX-5500 ($59.95, right) is not a replacement for the VX-5000, which makes sense because it’s design, while similar, isn’t quite the same (or as adorable. Sorry, Microsoft). Like the VX-5000, it has a square face with rounded edges. It has three interchangeable plates (red, white, and blue), and forgoes the VX-5000’s rubbery base for a more geometric one. The Wireless Mobile Mouse 3000 ($29.95) is the same bestselling wireless mouse that Microsoft’s been selling for awhile now. It has a battery status indicator, on/off switch, and is available in seven colors: black, white, Blue Sapphire, Red Garnet, Pink Topaz, Purple Amethyst, and Green Emerald. The Wireless Laser Desktop 6000 ($99.95) is a thin, wireless keyboard, whose transluscent edges are reminscent of the Windows Vista aero effects. It comes with a wireless mouse and snap-in transceiver. Meanwhile, the Wireless Media Desktop 1000 ($49.95), as the name suggests, is more media-centric, with launch buttons for photos, Windows Media Players, as well as programmable My Favorites keys. It comes with the Wireless Optical Mouse 2000.

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