Christine Kerr, Product Manager: Microsoft Mice
you think the new IntelliEye technology would be as successful as it
Christine Kerr: We certainly thought we had a
great product, and we're thrilled that response has been so
positive. We spent a lot of time talking to consumers as we worked
on the IntelliEye technology, asking them what they would like in a
mouse. They consistently said "a mouse that is more responsive,
that will react to my moves and not get stuck, and one that I don't
need to clean." IntelliEye optical technology addresses all
these by removing the mouse ball replacing it with an integrated
sensor that takes images of your desktop, comparing them to one
long was the IntelliMouse Explorer in development? Did you overcome any
setbacks or set any milestones?
Christine Kerr: Our development team worked on
IntelliMouse Explorer for more than two years. It was tricky to work
with so many different kinds of materials from soft touch rubber, to
translucent plastic and metallic paint. At one point, we had the entire
team wearing alpha-hydroxy hand lotion for months to make sure the paint
long was the IntelliEye technology in development? What was the main goal
for this new standard? Was the IntelliEye technology in development
before or about the same time the first mice were worked on?
Christine Kerr: The technology took a little
over two years to develop, work which was started at the same time we
began designing the IntelliMouse Explorer. The main goal was improved
performance in response to the consumer requests I mentioned earlier. We
wanted to find a completely new way of looking at the tracking
technology and we came up with IntelliEye.
are some of the different surfaces that the IntelliEye technology was
tested on? Any extreme or interesting surfaces?
Christine Kerr: IntelliEye was tested on
literally hundreds of surfaces - wood, marble, plastics, fabrics, etc.
We sent teams of testers to office furniture supply stores to test there
too. We wanted to make sure that most surfaces people have their
computers on would perform well. I actually tested it on my cat and
the technology worked great. I got bitten though.
the start of development, what was your goal for the design of
the IntelliMouse Explorer? What did you want it to have different
than the IntelliMouse with IntelliEye?
Christine Kerr: We wanted the design to convey
comfort, high performance and fun. This was a whole new kind of mouse
technology and we wanted to show how distinct it was through the design.
For instance, the red "taillight" is a great way to show that
the mouse is different...it's hard to see that glow and not pick up the
mouse for a closer look.
do you think Microsoft mice with IntelliEye technology have over the
Christine Kerr: IntelliEye optical technology
offers the fastest optical technology available in a mouse. Taking 2,000
pictures per second, it is about a third faster than competing optical
products that are just starting to come on the market. The result
is more responsive, smoother mousing.
favorite part about the IntelliEye technology was that I could use it
in the same standard design - the IntelliMouse with IntelliEye.
Was developing this new technology in the standard mouse design
important from the start? Were there any difficulties design a mouse
Christine Kerr: From the start, we wanted to
offer more than one mouse with the IntelliEye optical technology. This
holiday we will be offering three mice and two trackballs featuring the
IntelliEye technology. We understand that different mice are comfortable
for different people, and we want to offer a wide variety of
choices to consumers.
was the goal set for the IntelliMouse Optical? How long was it
in development? What does it have over the previous two IntelliEye
Christine Kerr: IntelliMouse Optical is
designed to be used by either left- or right-handed users. It has
the five buttons, including the scroll wheel, that IntelliMouse
Explorer offers and puts those features in a slightly smaller
shape. It is a great option for a computer that has multiple users
especially if you have different hand sizes or both right-
and left-handed users.
you working on the new trackball mice? If so, could you provide us
information on their release and/or features?
Christine Kerr: Yes I am. Trackball Explorer
and Trackball Optical will be widely available in stores at the
beginning of October. Trackball Explorer is a finger-operated trackball,
features five buttons including the wheel as well as the IntelliEye
optical technology. Trackball Optical is a thumb-operated
trackball, this trackball also features five buttons, including the
wheel, as well as the IntelliEye optical technology.
the IntelliMouse with IntelliEye, IntelliMouse Explorer and
the IntelliMouse Optical, which seems to be having the most success
Christine Kerr: Actually, all of the IntelliEye
mice became best-sellers in their market segments upon introduction. We
see this as proof that we've found a solution to people's most
common frustrations with their mice.
sturdy and reliable are the mice with IntelliEye technology? How long
were they designed to last?
Christine Kerr: All Microsoft mice are
subjected to rigorous testing because we want our mice to last and to be
a good value for our customers. Our testers put all of our mice,
including those with IntelliEye technology, through tests far beyond
what most people would normally do to their mice. The IntelliMouse
Explorer comes with a limited lifetime warranty and IntelliMouse Optical
and IntelliMouse with IntelliEye come with a five-year warranty.
is the favorite part of your job? Also, surprisingly enough I still use a
mouse pad with my IntelliEye mouse - did you throw away your mouse
Christine Kerr: My favorite part of my job is
getting out and talking to people about our products. I think we offer
great products that are real solutions and make computing easier for our
customers. Currently I am using the Trackball Optical so I don't use a
mouse pad, but when I use my IntelliMouse Explorer I don't have to use
one then either!
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