Microsoft's New Wedge Keyboard & Mouse
Not to be outdone by Apple's gesture-command Magic Mouse, Microsoft launched the Touch Mouse for Windows 7 last year, allowing for four-way finger swiping for simple commands like switching applications and minimizing open tasks.
With the upcoming release of Windows 8 and the Microsoft Surface tablet, the Redmond-based software developer (recently turned computer manufacturer) will be updating its touch suite with the Wedge Touch Mouse and Mobile Keyboard and the Sculpt Touch Mouse and Mobile Keyboard, two peripherals designed with Metro in mind.
For those who have already sprung for the Windows 7 Touch Mouse, Microsoft will be updating the driver to include new Windows 8-specific gesture controls. Those looking to pick up all new hardware will have to choose between the pragmatist's Wedge model and the artist's Sculpt model.
The Wedge Touch Mouse ($69.95) is small, running on only a single double-A battery and, according to Microsoft, compact enough to fit in your pocket. The minimalist aesthetic is designed to highlight the four-way touch controls, which in addition to scrolling or snapping items to the left or right of the screen, will be able to open up the Windows 8 charm menu and zoom. The thumb swipe will still move forward and backward through open apps.
The Wedge Mobile Keyboard ($79.95), like its mouse counterpart, will connect via Bluetooth and feature battery-saving sleep modes when not in use. The pitch here is that this keyboard will have some Windows 8 shortcut hotkeys for navigating Metro and settings menus. It also comes with a case that puts the keyboard to sleep and doubles as a stand for a tablet.
The Sculpt Touch Mouse ($49.95) has a more traditional mouse design but it still supports four-way gesture controls. It's larger than the Wedge Touch Mouse, aimed more towards the desktop user crowd.
The Sculpt Mobile Keyboard ($49.95) is curved in at the back, giving the face of the keys an ergonomic feel without committing fully to that framework. According to Microsoft, the battery life for this model is ten months in active use.
All of these devices will be available on or around the Windows 8 release date of October 26.
wow......... cool design....
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