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Microsoft's Sleek New IntelliMouse Explorer and IntelliEye Technology Toss Out the Mouse Ball Today at COMDEX

Mouse Ball and Longtime Partner Mouse Pad Left to Ponder What's Next

REDMOND, Wash. - April 19, 1999 - Mouse balls and mouse pads are scurrying for the analyst's couch in search of a new purpose following Microsoft Corp.'s introduction today of the most radical computer mouse technology and design advancement in the 30-year life of the mouse. The new Microsoft® IntelliMouse® Explorer pointing device and IntelliEye™ optical tracking technology eliminate the mouse ball and mouse pad, beginning a new era for the humble mouse today at COMDEX/Spring 99 and Windows World (Main Hall, booth 600).

With its bold new look and sleek design featuring an industrial-silver finish and glowing red underside and taillight, Microsoft IntelliMouse Explorer marks an extreme departure for the usually unassuming computer creature. But there's much more to IntelliMouse Explorer than its eye-catching appearance. New IntelliEye optical tracking technology adds substance to style with an optical sensor and an on-board digital signal processor (DSP) that track movement on virtually any surface and bring the mouse to a new level of precision.

"Can you imagine using a computer designed in 1968?" said Tim McDonough, mouse line product manager at Microsoft. "Yet we think nothing of using 30-year-old mouse technology. IntelliEye is the technological revolution that catches the mouse up to the rest of the PC."

IntelliEye: A New Approach and a Smarter Mouse

Gone are the mouse ball and other moving parts inside the mouse. Microsoft IntelliEye equips IntelliMouse Explorer with an optical sensor and digital signal processor, helping it avoid its traditional enemies - such as food crumbs, dust and grime - and track movement on virtually any surface. Even after years of use, IntelliEye will provide the same level of responsiveness and precision as it did the day it was purchased.

IntelliEye uses an optical sensor to capture high-resolution digital snapshots at the rate of 1,500 images per second. A built-in digital signal processor compares those images and translates changes into on-screen pointer movements. This technique, called image correlation processing, executes 18 million instructions per second (MIPS) and results in smoother, more precise pointer movement. Current mice execute only about 1.5 MIPS, making a mouse featuring Microsoft IntelliEye about 12 times smarter than ordinary mice.

IntelliMouse Explorer: Microsoft's Extreme Mouse

In addition to IntelliEye optical tracking technology and radical design, IntelliMouse Explorer features two customizable function buttons that add an unprecedented level of convenience and flexibility. The buttons, located on the left side of the mouse, provide effortless Internet navigation with forward and back default settings. The buttons can also be easily remapped to other useful program commands, such as print, copy, paste or save.

IntelliMouse Explorer also offers the efficiency of Microsoft's popular scrolling wheel, which allows users to scroll and zoom through documents easily, without having to use scrollbars, menus or toolbars.

IntelliMouse Explorer offers all these features in a newly designed, neutral-posture, ergonomic shape that positions the hand and forearm in a natural resting position and support the entire hand.

System Requirements and Availability

To take full advantage of Microsoft's IntelliEye technology and IntelliMouse Explorer, users will need the Windows® 95, Windows 98, Windows NT® Workstation 4.0 or Windows NT Server operating system 4.0 and a CD-ROM drive. IntelliMouse Explorer can be used on a PS/2 port or a USB port (USB requires Windows 98).

Microsoft IntelliMouse Explorer is scheduled to be available in September 1999 for an estimated retail price of $74.95. The original IntelliMouse featuring IntelliEye will be available for an estimated retail price of $54.95.

Microsoft Hardware Group

The Microsoft hardware group employs innovative engineering, cutting-edge industrial design and extensive usability testing to create products of exceptional quality and durability that improve the software experience and strengthen the connection between users and their PCs.

 

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