How long were the latest
Microsoft mice/keyboards in development?
introduced on the new mice and keyboards were in development for 12 - 18
months, including the new scroll wheel with Tilt Wheel Technology and
the enhanced Microsoft Optical Technology. Both of these new features
are proprietary to Microsoft and we spent months developing and testing
these, both internally and with consumers.
How many people were on the
The amount of people on
the product development teams can vary per product, depending on the
complexity of the features.
How did you determine which
colors were to be used for the mice line?
We have a dedicated color
expert here, as well as a team of designers that led the process. We
used the prevailing research for what colors folks liked, what people
are drawn to and what people find maps back to their own personalities.
And finally, we tested the colors globally to see what people were most
Was it pretty cut-and-dry
or were there a lot of choices?
We are continually
testing colors globally and in this instance ended up with the six
colors and one graphic finish introduced last fall: Steel Blue,
Periwinkle, Blue Moon, Metallic Red, Platinum, Metallic Grey and
Why was the decision made
to use leather as a new texture?
We also tested many
different textures. The feel of leather was the resounding favorite -
you can really feel the comfort on the mouse and the padded wrist rest
this offers as well.
How has the battery life
been improved in the new Wireless IntelliMouse Explorer and the Wireless
With the new enhanced
Microsoft Optical Technology, most users will experience up to six
months of battery life. On average, the battery life of wireless mice
with new Microsoft Optical Technology last about three times longer than
other wireless mice available. Battery life varies with the amount of
wireless mouse usage and previously, average battery life could last
from a couple weeks to a couple months. Additionally, the new Microsoft
Optical Technology is designed to minimize battery drain with three
unique power-saving modes—active, idle and dormant—with imperceptible
latency for maximum performance. When the mouse is moving it is in
active mode, offering signature Microsoft optical performance. The
mouse goes into idle mode if it stops moving, using minimal power. When
the mouse has been idle for 10 minutes, it goes into dormant mode – the
most power efficient mode. In both idle and dormant modes, the mouse
wakes up to active mode immediately when moved so that latency is
Why was the wired
IntelliMouse Explorer released several months after the rest of the new
IntelliMouse Explorer is
available now at retailers nationwide. The timing was simply due to our
product development cycle.
Did working with leather
provide any development challenges you were not expecting?
Leather and leather-like
material (which is what is used on Wireless IntelliMouse Explorer) is
more difficult to work with, since it needs to be perfectly stretched
across the product. We worked with our manufacturer to develop an
entirely new method to do this.
Have the new leather
texture and colors proved successful?
People have responded
well to the variety we offered this year. During research we found that
consumers wanted more choices in their mice and keyboards and they want
products that reflect their personality. Not every color appeals to
everyone - that is why we're offering more colors, textures and graphics
then ever before. The most choices people have, the greater chance of
appealing to a variety of tastes.
Should we expect more in
Yes. In the past we've
offered Special Edition products with unique colors and finishes that
are available for a limited time. We plan to offer more Special Edition
products sometime this year.
Are there any plans for any
additional Bluetooth products?
Microsoft continues to
support Bluetooth technology, however we don't have anything to announce
at this time. We will let you know as soon as we can regarding upcoming
What new improvements has
the new tilt wheel technology added to the Microsoft mice line?
The new scroll wheel
integrates new Tilt Wheel technology into a familiar form that people
are comfortable with. We've found that the scroll wheel is the number
one feature people look for in a mouse, and during testing we heard that
people wanted to be able to do more with the scroll wheel - but didn't
want added complexity or buttons. That led to the testing and
development of the new scroll wheel with Tilt Wheel Technology. With it
you can smoothly scroll up, down, left or right. If you press down on
the wheel it will toggle between open applications on your desktop. And
the enhanced accelerated scrolling allows you to reach the end of
documents or Web pages within seconds.
What is the dpi rate
(images per second) of the new optical mice?
The new mice use a 400
dots per inch (dpi) resolution. With a 400 dpi mouse, your pointer will
correspond more closely to the distance that you can move your mouse
across your desk. Additionally, our mouse software gives you the
ability to change the speed in which the pointer moves to emulate a 800
Can we expect any
additional mouse/keyboard product announcements this year?
Yes, we plan on
introducing additional new products this year to continue to address the
feedback we receive during research regarding ways we can improve
people's computing experience. We'll be sure to keep you posted with
product announcements as soon as we can.
Interested in doing an interview?
contact us for more information.