Thursday, January 6, 2011

Apple’s Magic Mouse and now Microsoft’s Touch Mouse

Apple was the company that made the GUI and the use of the mouse popular back in the old days. But ever since, Apple hasn’t been the best designers of the mouse and Apple has been often been criticized for not being able to make ergonomic pointing devices. Apple has tried numerous times to redefine the mouse with different shapes, design, button positions over the years, but the simple two/three button with scroll mouse has nearly been the market favorite including those who swear by Apple devices.

Last year Apple came out with what was another attempt to redesign the mouse. They called it the Magic Mouse. It was a failure at ergonomics and not many people loved it. Today at CES 2011, Microsoft Research presented what it hopes to be Mouse 2.0. It is a mouse without buttons, similar to a laptop trackpad. It does not have scroll or buttons and works based on the touch of the fingers. Thus you can swipe your fingers, perform pinch and zoom gestures etc. on the mouse surface. "One finger lets people manage individual documents or pages by flicking to quickly scroll, pan and tilt, and one thumb lets people move back or forward through a Web browser. Two fingers manage windows, letting people maximise, minimise, snap and restore them. Three fingers let people navigate their whole desktop, showing instant viewer or clearing their desktop."

apple-mouse ms-mouse

Apple’s Mighty Mouse

Microsoft’s Touch Mouse

I am of the opinion that both the mice do not have what it takes to be called a revolution. There is already an installed base of users who are used to the two buttons and scroll and will not see any real benefit to move to these new gadgets. These do not have special features that are extremely important to computer users. If you have a laptop, you already have the trackpad do it for you.

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