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Microsoft Australia Announces New Line-up of Hardware Products

9 September, 2004 | Archived Post
Introducing Microsoft's Fingerprint Reader, the comfort curve keyboard and the world's first designer mouseSYDNEY, Australia, 9 September 2004

Abstract:
Microsoft Australia today unveiled its new mice and keyboard line-up that features enhanced ergonomics, innovative functionality, advanced Bluetooth® and wireless capabilities. Microsoft also announces its first hardware products with fingerprint recognition technology and a partnership with world renowned interior and industrial designer, Philippe Starck, to introduce the world's first designer mouse.

Press Release:
The 11 new products introduced today are:

Microsoft® Fingerprint Reader

Microsoft® Optical Desktop with Fingerprint Reader

Microsoft® Wireless Optical Desktop Comfort Edition

Microsoft® Wireless Notebook Optical Mouse

Microsoft® IntelliMouse® Explorer for Bluetooth®

Microsoft® Wireless Optical Desktop Elite for Bluetooth®

Microsoft® Optical Mouse by S+ARCK

Microsoft® Digital Media Pro Keyboard

Microsoft® Standard Wireless Optical Mouse

Microsoft® Standard Wireless Optical Desktop

Microsoft® Internet Keyboard

"Our new products represent a continuation of our long-term strategy to deliver hardware products that enrich the software experience for both home and business users,” said Cynthia Kouvatas, Product Marketing Manager, Home and Entertainment Division, Microsoft Australia. “The mouse and keyboard continue to be two of the most essential devices used each day. Our goal is to improve these products to deliver easier and more enjoyable ways to access and share information.”

Reducing Password Fatigue

Microsoft is introducing two new products that conveniently replace user names and passwords with easy-to-use fingerprint recognition technology. With a touch of a finger computer users can quickly and easily log onto their PC, log onto favourite Web sites and fast user switching.

The intuitive and reliable fingerprint reader is available in two products: Optical Desktop with Fingerprint Reader and the stand-alone Fingerprint Reader.

Going Mobile

The new Wireless Notebook Optical Mouse features an appealing design that combines stunning form and innovative function. It includes a small receiver that snaps into the bottom of the mouse when not in use, automatically turning off power to conserve battery life. Working up to one metre away from the receiver and containing a pivot for the best possible reception, this mouse delivers more than three months' battery life on only one battery and tracks smoothly on nearly any surface. The compact mouse, available in Slate or Winter Blue colours, is ambidextrous with rubber side grips for added comfort.

Curved Comfort and Zoom Control

Microsoft has a 20-year history of researching hardware. The industrial designers and ergonomists on staff have created a variety of products designed for comfort, including the first affordable ergonomic split keyboard in 1994. Microsoft now introduces the Wireless Optical Desktop Comfort Edition to provide more comfort to flat keyboard users. This new curved keyboard features gently angled keys that intuitively encourage natural hand and wrist alignment for additional comfort, but is still easy for flat keyboard users to use.

Also included is the Wireless Optical Mouse, an ambidextrous mouse with an average of more than six months' battery life. Further, it has Microsoft's Tilt Wheel Technology, which was introduced last year as the first mouse scroll wheel which users can scroll side to side just by tilting the wheel, as well as up and down.

Both the Wireless Optical Desktop and the new Digital Media Pro Keyboard also feature the intuitive new Zoom Slider that lets users quickly and easily zoom in and out of images and documents and is tailor-made for people who view and edit digital photos on the computer.

Ultimate in Wireless Connectivity

Building on its commitment to Bluetooth after introducing the first commercially available Bluetooth desktop in 2002, Microsoft is unveiling new hardware products featuring additional bluetooth profile support and longer battery life. Using the USB transceiver included with Optical Desktop Elite for Bluetooth or IntelliMouse Explorer for Bluetooth, users can wirelessly exchange and sync information between their PC and Bluetooth devices, including Windows Mobile™-based Pocket PCs, mobile phones, cameras, printers, mice and keyboards, from up to 10 metres away.

Microsoft is also including support for the Personal Area Network User (PANU) profile in Windows® XP Service Pack 2 to help make future Bluetooth experiences easier, more seamless and more accessible.

The new Bluetooth desktop and mouse also feature advanced scrolling capabilities with Tilt Wheel Technology and longer battery life than previous Microsoft Bluetooth products. As well as ridding desks of cables and clutter, these products add sleek style with a deep blue finish and a padded keyboard palm rest featuring the look and feel of leather.

Performance Art

Microsoft and designer Philippe Starck began their alliance nearly two years ago, collaborating to create a mouse with a unique look and feel. Starck provided the inspiration and overall product vision and worked closely with Microsoft engineers and designers to ensure that the mouse was not only eye-catching but also comfortable and easy to use. Starck's products exemplify that great design is no longer reserved only for luxury items and can now be found in everyday items and places. This new mouse is no exception.

“People are doing such amazing things with their computers, however, too often the importance of the link between man and machine is underestimated,” Starck said. “The PC and what we use it for is an extension of us. It defines us just as much as the clothes we wear or the music we listen to. With this in mind, I set out to design an artistic bridge that would help people connect with the technology they use every day. The result is modern and refreshingly simple, and will transform the mouse into a badge item that makes a statement about your taste and personality.”

Blurring the lines between form and function, the Optical Mouse by S+ARCK features a sleek shape and shimmering finish. Two buttons extend the length of the mouse, separated by a distinct blue lighted strip. This hemisphere design and smooth form deliver comfort for both left and right handed users.

In addition, the product includes a scroll wheel for navigating Web pages and documents quickly without using the scroll bar and Microsoft Optical Technology for smooth tracking.

Everyday Affordability

Continuing to offer innovative design combined with reliable performance, Microsoft also introduces Standard Wireless Optical Mouse, its most affordable wireless optical mouse. Featuring enhanced Microsoft Optical Technology with more than six months of battery life for average users and an integrated button design that delivers a new way to click, this mouse is available in either a black or white finish.

Pricing and Availability

The products introduced today will be available to customers through Microsoft reseller partners in the following months. Recommended retail prices*:

October 2004

Microsoft Wireless Optical Desktop Elite for Bluetooth $299.95

Microsoft IntelliMouse Explorer for Bluetooth $149.95

Microsoft Wireless Optical Desktop Comfort Edition $149.95

Microsoft Standard Wireless Optical Desktop $89.95

Microsoft Optical Mouse by S+ARCK $59.95

Microsoft Digital Media Pro Keyboard $59.95

Microsoft Standard Wireless Optical Mouse $59.95

Microsoft Internet Keyboard $29.95

November 2004

Microsoft Optical Desktop with Fingerprint Reader $199.95

Microsoft Fingerprint Reader $99.95

Microsoft Wireless Notebook Optical Mouse $69.95

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

ends


About Microsoft

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

About Microsoft Hardware
For twenty years the Microsoft 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.

About Phillipe Starck
One of the world's most celebrated and prestigious designers, Phillipe Starck is known as an industrial designer, architect, inventor, celebrity and philosopher, even as an icon of modern innovation and imagination. He is famous for delivering exceptional yet accessible design by transforming common items, such as toothbrushes, lemon squeezers and chairs, into works of functional art. Microsoft and IntelliMouse are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries. The Bluetooth trademarks are owned by its proprietors and used by Microsoft under license. The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

For further information:

Anne Flanagan
Howorth Communications 
Ph: 02 8281 3802 or 0405 082 603
anne@howorth.com.au

Stephen Rodi
Howorth Communications                            
Ph: 02 8281 3828 or 0416 008 500                                       
stephen@howorth.com.au

For online product information:

To access the Reviewers Guide for this product please visit www.microsoft.com/hardware/experienceit/business

Visit the Microsoft Hardware Web site at http://www.microsoft.com/hardware

For a look at Microsoft Hardware's past two decades of innovation, please visit http://www.microsoft.com/hardware/mouse/timeline.asp

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