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Gadgets -Microsoft Takes Shot at Apple with New Arc Touch Mouse

September 01, 2010

Microsoft Takes Shot at Apple with New Arc Touch Mouse

By Susan J. Campbell
TMCnet Contributing Editor

Is Microsoft lashing out at Apple? In a not-so-direct way, the company is firmly attacking the growth of touchscreens and touchpads with the launch of its Arc Touch Mouse.

With Apple’s (News - Alert) push toward using touch to navigate a PC or device, Microsoft is still promoting the virtues – and long-life expectancy – of the mouse.

Electronista reported on this latest release from Microsoft (News - Alert), which confirmed that the design of the Arc Touch Mouse is the first to completely fold flat for travel. The “touch” in this mouse uses the center strip for scrolling, mouse-clicks and page up/down. Haptic feedbacks are in place to help compensate for a lack of detents that would normally accompany a physical scroll wheel.

The BlueTrack blue laser is used to help the Arc Touch find its position and a very small USM receiver beams input over RF wireless. With no Bluetooth, the mouse can go as long as six months, even with the use of AAA batteries.

While pre-orders are set to start at Amazon, Best Buy and, the company won’t start shipping the new mouse until early December at a cost of $70. Outlets are expected to have the mouse by January.

When the mouse was unveiled by Microsoft, the company attempted to reclaim ground back from the Magic Trackpad – Apple’s invention of course – by claiming the Arc Touch Mouse is truly a revival and the days of the mouse are not numbered.

After all, a third of notebook buyers – according to Microsoft – still purchase a mouse with the system.Apple continues to claim that it doesn’t expect to replace the mouse, although the company continues to develop technology that makes the mouse obsolete. It may all depend upon the user, however. Yours truly would just as soon use touch to get the job done; yet my teenage son insists on using a mouse with his laptop – a practice I find cumbersome.

In other Microsoft news, TMC (News - Alert) reported last month that Intermedia (News - Alert), the world's largest Microsoft Exchange hosting provider, has announced the availability of Microsoft Outlook 2010 and SharePoint 2010 in more than 30 languages. Outlook 2010 is the latest version of the well-liked business email client, whereas SharePoint 2010 is the latest version of a business collaboration platform which has been commonly used for company and team-wide document management.

Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMCnet and has also written for To read more of Susan’s articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Ed Silverstein

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