Microsoft's latest peripherals are somewhat perplexing; the Wedge Mobile Touch Mouse is good enough to stop you using the 'touch' empowerment offered by Windows 8 devices.
So does Microsoft want us to touch, or just keep mouse-ing around?
This mouse has no tail and is essentially just the two front right and left buttons presented on a surface that is in fact a mini touchpad in its own right.
This is a nice unit with the convenience of BlueTrack technology allowing the mouse to work on almost any surface -- the Computer Weekly Developer Network tested it out on the following surfaces successfully:
• Wooden desk surface
• All black glass surface
• All white painted surface
• Completely clear window pane
• Hugo Boss light blue jumper
• Fluffy puppy toy (no honest, we did, it works)
The clever stuff continues, when your PC or tablet is shut down or hibernating, the mouse goes into so-called "Backpack Mode" meaning that can throw it into your bag and not worry if you turned it off because it senses that it no longer needs to be on.
So should developers still consider the mouse input mechanism as the user paradigm to program to?
... and should programmers start the move to touch with the potential for wider (scrollable) screen real estate?
The answer (inside the Microsoft universe at least) is mostly still touch.
Microsoft has provided four-way scrolling on the Wedge Mobile Touch Mouse and this will be (arguably) somewhat indispensable for users of Windows 8 users who don't actually have a touch screen to work with themselves.
Scrolling up and down and also horizontally has come of age then, but will this help Windows 8 and its overall questionable level of popularity?
It may do because remember, the hardest part of technical change is the cultural aspect of getting used to something new rather than the technical functionality obstacles - ask any fan of open source that!