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Got the right tools for your trade? Microsoft's New Desktop Offers Superior Wireless Ergonomic Experience

26 September, 2007 | Archived Post

Study shows that the average consumer spends almost six hours each day on the computer.

Sydney, Australia - September 26, 2007 - Most carpenters, builders, plumbers and tradesman live and breathe by using the best equipment to get the job done in the most efficient and comfortable manner. But do desk bound office workers or consumers take the same approach with their own desktop toolkit?

Continuing its history of setting new benchmarks for desktop innovation and ergonomic design, Microsoft Australia today launched the Natural® Ergonomic Desktop 7000 - the pinnacle of comfort. With the average consumer spending approximately six hours per day on their computer,1 Microsoft has responded to the growing need for comfortable peripherals with its new desktop that makes optimal use of the ergonomic designs of the wired keyboard, the Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000, and the Natural Wireless Laser Mouse 6000.

Combining best-in-class ergonomic design and 2.4 GHz technology for a confident wireless connection, the Natural Ergonomic Desktop 7000 represents the ultimate wireless desktop experience and makes time spent on the computer more comfortable and productive.

"In any trade, it's important to have quality products that help make the time spent working more comfortable," said Scott Jackson, Hardware Product Marketing Manager for the Entertainment and Devices Division, Microsoft Australia. "We're excited to deliver the Natural Ergonomic Desktop 7000, which combines the best of technology and comfort with 30-foot range, 2.4 GHz wireless technology and innovative ergonomic design."

"At Microsoft, we're committed to consistently delivering products that align with the way consumers are using technology. More time on the computer means a greater need for comfort, and Microsoft Hardware's in-house ergonomists have provided desktop users' tired fingers, sore wrists and aching necks with comfortable products," added Jackson. These types of products include the following:

  • 2006. The first-ever Natural mouse, the Natural Wireless Laser Mouse 6000
  • 2005. Comfort Curve design, which offers natural wrist and arm alignment to improve overall posture
  • 2005. The Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000, the current best-selling wired keyboard in the United States
  • 2003. The first wireless ergonomic desktop, the Wireless Optical Desktop Pro
  • 1994. The first affordable split keyboard, the Natural keyboard. Its fixed alternative design was found to reduce symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome.3
  • 1993. The first Microsoft® ergonomic mouse

Cutting the Cord
In addition to comfort, Microsoft enables outstanding productivity with this desktop through the inclusion of 2.4 GHz wireless technology. The wireless technology allows users to enjoy these features:

  • Wireless freedom: Users can sit back and click up to 30 feet away from the transceiver, even if it's out of sight. Eliminating wires on the desk also means less clutter and a more organised space
  • Confident connection with virtually no interference: Intelligent technology "hops" frequency when it encounters interference, making this ideal for corporate or home environments with multiple computers
  • Easy setup and use: Users can just plug in the tiny transceiver and start typing

Breakthrough "Gull Wing" Keyboard
Taking the design from Microsoft's Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000 and adding wireless connectivity, the keyboard includes several features for supreme PC comfort. The design even provides health benefits since fixed alternative keyboard designs, such as the Microsoft Natural design, have been associated with a significant reduction of carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms.3 The keyboard has a cushioned wrist rest in addition to these ergonomic features:

  • Proprietary "gull wing" design: Brings the keys closer to the user's fingers, reducing reach and unnecessary motion while encouraging a more natural position
  • Optional palm rest: For a 7-degree reversed slope to encourage better arm and wrist alignment
  • 12-degree split and 14-degree gable: To encourage better wrist and arm alignment, allowing users to work and play on their computer in a more natural and instinctive position

The keyboard features a two-colour battery life indicator that warns users when it is time to replace batteries; red means the batteries are running low on power, and solid green glows and then fades away when new batteries are inserted. In addition, the keyboard includes great productivity features, including easy-to-access forward and back buttons; Zoom, a slider to zoom in and out when navigating large documents or images; and customisable Hot Keys such as Mail, Web/Home, Search and more.

Baseball-Inspired Mouse Is a Home Run
Included with the Natural Ergonomic Desktop 7000 is the newest version of Microsoft's ergonomic mouse, the Natural Wireless Laser Mouse 7000, outfitted with superior comfort and best-in-class wireless technology. The mouse is identical in design to the recently launched Natural Wireless Laser Mouse 6000, with the addition of 2.4 GHz wireless technology. The mouse's Natural design was inspired by the shape of a baseball and driven by the way a hand rests in a relaxed state, with the wrist more parallel to the side of the body and the fingers maintaining their relaxed curl. Signature Natural design elements include these:

  • Vertical right side: Allows the user to rest comfortably on the side of the hand, rather than on the carpal tunnel area
  • Elevated thumb scoop: Keeps the user's hand in a more natural position by rotating the hand into a more vertical position, a posture that has been associated with a reduction in carpal tunnel pressure

The mouse also features a two-colour battery life indicator that warns users when it is time to replace batteries. Innovative software features include the Instant Viewer, which displays all open windows at once so users can easily switch between applications for added productivity, and Magnifier, which delivers real-time magnification on any section of the screen, making viewing and editing of hard-to-see text or pictures easier than ever. Finally, the mouse features High Definition Laser Technology for more precise, responsive and smooth tracking.

Pricing and Availability
The Natural Ergonomic Desktop 7000 is scheduled to be widely available by September 2007 for a recommended retail price* of $199.95

*Prices are Australian recommended retail prices. Actual prices may vary.

About Microsoft Hardware
For 25 years, the Hardware group has employed innovative engineering, cutting-edge industrial design and extensive usability testing to create products of exceptional quality and durability that enhance the software experience and strengthen the connection between consumers and their PC. Microsoft Hardware leads the industry in ergonomic engineering, industrial design, and hardware/software compatibility, offering consumers an easier, more convenient and more enjoyable computing experience.

Microsoft, Natural and IntelliMouse are trademarks of the Microsoft group of companies.
The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

About Microsoft
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT") is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

1Sommerich, C., "A Survey of Desktop and Notebook Computer Use by Professionals," Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, 26th meeting, 2002, pp. 1124–1128. The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.
3HCI 2003, "The effect of alternative keyboards on musculoskeletal symptoms and disorders"
4Actual prices may vary.

For further information please contact:

Rebecca Smith
Howorth Communications
Ph: 02 8281 3809
rebecca@howorth.com.au

Anne Flanagan
Howorth Communications
Ph: 02 8281 3830 or 0405 082 603
www.microsoft.com/australia/presspass

Visit the Microsoft Australia Hardware Web site at
http://www.microsoft.com/australia/mouseandkeyboard/

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